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Former Ivory Coast President Bédié known for promoting ethnic tensions dies at 89, his party says


Associated Press

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Former Ivory Coast president Henri Konan Bédié has died Tuesday night at the age of 89, according to a communiqué from his party. State media reported that he was rushed from his hometown of Daoukro in central Ivory Coast yesterday evening after falling ill. He arrived by helicopter around 8 p.m. at a hospital in Abidjan, the nation’s largest city and economic hub, where he passed away. A career diplomat and politician, Bédié was head of state in the West African nation from 1993 to 1999, before he was overthrown in a military coup. His administration was marred by its promotion of the concept of “Ivoirité,” which stoked ethnic and religious tensions.

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