Ivory Coast Arrests Soldiers in Alleged Coup Plot Linked to Soro

(Bloomberg) -- Ivory Coast arrested fourteen soldiers and five civilians for preparing a coup, an alleged crime for which presidential hopeful Guillaume Soro is also wanted, according to the public prosecutor.

Soro, 47, was last week convicted and sentenced in absentia to 20 years in jail for embezzlement of public funds and money laundering, but still faces a charge of endangering state security. He was accused in December of plotting a coup after a seven-minute recording surfaced in which he allegedly tells an unknown interlocutor that weapons and key people are positioned in strategic locations.

Investigators have since found corroborating evidence after they seized vehicles that were allegedly used to transport arms, Richard Adou, the public prosecutor, told reporters Tuesday in the commercial capital, Abidjan.

Soro is an ex-prime minister of the world’s biggest cocoa producer and a former ally of President Alassane Ouattara. He resigned as speaker of the national assembly in 2019 to create his own political platform and has said that he wants to contest for the presidency in elections scheduled for later this year.

He’s been living in exile in France since December.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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