His predecessor Gilles Huberson was recalled in September for administrative investigation after allegations of harassment. The appointment of Jean-Christophe Belliard was ratified by the Council of Ministers in Yamoussoukro on Wednesday 29 September.
as reported from Abidjan, Pierre Pinto
Until this summer, Jean-Christophe Belliard, 61, held the post of Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service in charge of political affairs. It is clearly number two in European Union diplomacy.
Previously, from 2012 to 2016, he held the position of Africa Director of the Quai d’Orsay after serving as Ambassador to Madagascar and Ethiopia for three years for a few months.
The experienced diplomat, Jean-Christophe Belliard, therefore arrives in Abidjan in a very special context, a month away from a high-risk presidential election. Since the announcement of his candidacy for a third term by Alassane Ouattara in early August, the regime and the opposition have been in disagreement. Resistance has been set and the opposition wants to discuss a number of reforms before going to the polls. But postpone the vote, the government does not want to hear about it.
This appointment of Jean-Christophe Belliard comes after the sudden recall of his predecessor, Gilles Huberson, accused of “sexist” behavior by several collaborators and subjected to administrative investigation in Paris.