Ivory Coast dissolves government

Ahead of a planned government reshuffle

ABIDJAN — Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara dissolved his government on Wednesday, an unexpected move that comes as the world’s top cocoa grower makes headway towards reviving its economy.

Ouattara won a November 2010 election, defeating incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo, whose refusal to accept the result triggered a four-month conflict that killed around 3,000 people.

His government continues to struggle with lingering insecurity since the war.

“The president of the republic ... ended the functions of the members of the government,” Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Ouattara’s secretary general, said following a cabinet meeting in the commercial capital Abidjan.

It was not clear when a new government would be named.

Since taking office last year, Ouattara, a former International Monetary Fund official, has overseen a much-lauded revival of the economy, with growth of 8,6% projected for 2012 following a contraction of 4,7% last year.

But the security services are struggling to cope with a series of armed attacks targeting military and infrastructure installations since August.

National reconciliation between rival political camps since the war, and essential security sector reform, are also lagging.

“It’s quite strange, and it’s quite risky,” one western observer said of Ouattara’s move to dissolve the government. “He could be saying he’s fed up with these guys and wants changes. It could also be a problem between (the coalition partners),” said the observer, who asked not to be named.