Ivory Coast: Death in detention of Koné Yaya, close to Guillaume Soro

Kone Yaya

Ddeath of Koné Yaya, better known as Zakahoui, a close collaborator of the former president of the National Assembly, Guillaume Soro. The sad news was made public this Friday, June 14, 2024, by Mamadou Traoré, influential executive of the Générations et Peuples Solidaires (GPS) party.

Koné Yaya, who held the position of butler to Guillaume Soro, was arrested several months ago. His arrest took place at the same time as that of Commander Fofana Abdoulaye, Soro’s aide-de-camp. Since his arrest, Koné Yaya was detained at the Koumassi commando camp, before dying this morning at the Abidjan Military Hospital (HMA).

Also read: Trial for Embezzlement: Soul To Soul awaits June 18, 2024 for its trial

It was via a message published on his Facebook page that Mamadou Traoré announced the death of Koné Yaya. “I would like to inform you of the death, this morning, of one of our relatives, who was the butler of my leader Guillaume Soro, named Koné Yaya, commonly called Zakahoui. The latter was arrested at the same time as Commander Fofana Abdoulaye, Guillaume Soro’s aide-de-camp,” he wrote.

Mamadou Traoré deplored the loss of this “man without history” and promised to return to the circumstances of his death. He also expressed his deep sadness and stressed that this death is part of a sad series of deaths of political prisoners in Côte d’Ivoire, citing in particular Ernest Boka and other historical figures.

Circumstances of death

The exact circumstances of Koné Yaya’s death remain unclear at the moment. Mamadou Traoré did not provide specific details on the causes of death, but assured that he would provide more information later. This situation raises questions and concerns among supporters of Guillaume Soro and beyond.

The death of Koné Yaya comes in a tense political context in Ivory Coast, where arrests and detentions of relatives of Guillaume Soro have been frequent. Souleymane Koné Kamaraté, better known by the nickname Soul To Soul, was sentenced in June 2021 to 20 years in prison for conspiracy against state authority. Faithful among the followers of Guillaume Soro, he was pardoned in February 2024 by President Alassane Ouattara, alongside 50 other civilian and military detainees convicted of offenses linked to the post-electoral crises of 2010-2011 and 2020 and for attacks on state security.

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According to sources close to the case, Soul to Soul was heard by the judge in the case of purchase, by Guillaume Soro, of a residence in Marcory Résidentiel, an upscale neighborhood south of Abidjan, in 2007, for 1 .5 billion CFA francs, while he was Prime Minister.

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