Côte d’Ivoire celebrates 62 years of independence this Sunday. As every year, President Alassane Ouattara will address the nation this Saturday evening. But the ceremonies will take place on Sunday in Yamoussoukro with a large military parade, in the presence of the head of state and his predecessors Henri Konan Bédié and Laurent Gbagbo. Special guest this year, Bissau-Guinean Umaro Sissoco Emballo, current President of ECOWAS. Recent months of friction between the Guinea-Bissau and Ivorian heads of state appear to be ancient history
Forget the serious criticism of Umaro Sissoco Emballo on the third mandates. Forget the row over a possible extension of the mandate of Nana Akuffo Addo by six months at the head of ECOWAS, which Alassane Ouattara had foreseen for some time but abandoned. Bissau and Abidjan have been working for months to renew ties.
In May, the newly appointed Ivorian Vice President, Tiémoko Meyliet Koné, appointed took the trip to Bissau. A month later, Air-Côte d’Ivoire inaugurated its Abidjan-Bissau route. And this Thursday, Alassane Ouattara officially thanked the chairman of the council for his solidarity and his involvement in the release of the 49 Ivorian soldiers detained for a month in Mali.
“Embalo is very active on this file as president of ECOWAS. He is uninhibited. He can raise issues with the junta that even Faure Gnassimbé won’t talk about,” commented a West African diplomat well versed in the mysteries of power in the region. “Embalo is unpredictable . He annoys sometimes because of his outspokenness, but I’m not sure the argument was serious,” he adds.
In the Ivorian president’s entourage, it is ensured that there is “no problem, no conflict”, as the press has been able to recognize. The current President of ECOWAS will not be the only foreign dignitary in Yamoussoukro on Sunday. The president of neighboring Liberia, George Weah is also announced.