Guillaume Soro

Guillaume Kigbafori Soro (born 8 May 1972) is an Ivorian politician who was the Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire from April 2007 to March 2012. Prior to his service as Prime Minister, Soro led the Patriotic Movement of Côte d'Ivoire, and later the New Forces as its Secretary-General.[1][2] In March 2012, Soro became President of the National Assembly of Côte d'Ivoire. He stepped down from that position in February 2019, announcing in June 2019 that he is running to succeed President Alassane Ouattara. [3]

Guillaume Soro
Guillaume Soro janvier 2011.jpg
President of the National Assembly
In office
12 March 2012 – 8 February 2019
Preceded byMamadou Koulibaly
Succeeded byAmadou Soumahoro
7th Prime Minister of the Ivory Coast
In office
4 April 2007 – 13 March 2012*
PresidentLaurent Gbagbo
Alassane Ouattara
Preceded byCharles Konan Banny
Succeeded byJeannot Ahoussou-Kouadio
Minister of Defence
In office
11 April 2011 – 13 March 2012
Preceded byAmani N'Guessan
Succeeded byAlassane Ouattara
Leader of the Patriotic Movement
Assumed office
20 December 2005
Preceded byParty established
Personal details
Born (1972-05-08) 8 May 1972 (age 48)
Diawala, Ivory Coast
Political partyPatriotic Movement
  • The office of Prime Minister was disputed between Soro and Gilbert Aké from 6 December 2010 to 11 April 2011.

Ivorian Civil WarEdit

Soro led the Patriotic Movement of Côte d'Ivoire (MPCI) in a September 2002 rebellion against President Laurent Gbagbo that triggered the Ivorian Civil War. In December 2002 Soro's MPCI combined with two other rebel groups, the Ivorian Popular Movement of the Great West (MPIGO) and the Movement for Justice and Peace (MJP), to form the New Forces (Forces Nouvelles de Côte d'Ivoire). He was appointed as Secretary-General of the New Forces.

Political careerEdit

Following a peace agreement in January 2003, Soro was appointed to the government as Minister of Communications.[4] The New Forces ministers began a boycott of cabinet meetings in September 2003, returning in January 2004.[5] After an opposition demonstration held in Abidjan in March 2004 was violently broken up, President Gbagbo dismissed Soro and two other ministers from their positions. Soro denounced the dismissals, saying they were effectively a coup by Gbagbo against the peace agreement.[6][7] On 9 August 2004 Soro was reinstated.[8]

On 28 December 2005, Soro was appointed as Minister of Reconstruction and Reintegration by Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny.[9] He attended his first cabinet meeting in this capacity on 15 March 2006.[10]

Prime MinisterEdit

Following a peace deal signed on 4 March 2007, Soro was considered a possible candidate for Prime Minister and received Gbagbo's endorsement.[11] In an interview published on 26 March, Soro said that he would be willing to assume the position.[12] Gbagbo officially appointed him on 29 March,[13][14] Soro took office on 4 April,[15] and his 32 ministers were named on 7 April, many of whom served under his predecessor.[16][17]

In a speech on 13 April, Soro apologized "to everybody and on behalf of everybody" for the harm caused by the rebellion.[18] On 30 July, Soro and Gbagbo participated in a "peace flame" disarmament ceremony, which involved the burning of weapons to symbolize the end of the conflict.[19][20]

The peace agreement barred Soro from standing in the 2010 presidential election, and he told Jeune Afrique in a March 2008 interview that he would discuss his political future after the election. It was rumored that Soro and Gbagbo made a secret agreement whereby Soro would support Gbagbo in the election and, in exchange, Gbagbo would back Soro in the subsequent presidential election. Soro dismissed this as "gossip," describing himself as an "arbiter of the electoral process," and further said the New Forces would not back any candidate and that its members could vote for whomever they wished.[21]

When the Gbagbo-allied Constitutional Council announced their results of the 2010 poll and Gbagbo was sworn in, Soro resigned as prime minister, supporting opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara. Ouattara had been declared the winner by the electoral commission, and he reappointed Soro after taking the oath of office at a rival ceremony.

Soro was elected to the National Assembly in the December 2011 parliamentary election. After serving as Ouattara's prime minister for over a year, Soro resigned on 8 March 2012. He was then elected as President of the National Assembly on 12 March 2012, a move that ensured that he would remain a key figure on the political scene. There were no other candidates for the post.[22]

In 2016 Burkina Faso issued an international arrest warrant for Soro for his alleged role in the 2015 Burkinabé coup d'état.

Standing as the candidate of the ruling coalition, the Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace, in the city of Ferkessédougou, Soro was re-elected to the National Assembly in the December 2016 parliamentary election with 98.7% of the vote.[23][24] When the National Assembly began meeting for the new parliamentary term, Soro was re-elected as President of the National Assembly on 9 January 2017. He received 230 votes from the 252 deputies present; Evariste Méambly, an independent deputy, received 12 votes, and there were 10 spoilt votes.[25]

Assassination attemptEdit

On 29 June 2007, a Fokker 100 carrying Prime Minister Soro, members of his delegation, and 20 journalists was taxiing on a runway at an airport in Bouaké when it was targeted by rocket and Kalashnikov fire. One rocket struck and exploded in the cabin, one missed, and a third bounced off the fuselage and did not detonate. Soro wasn't injured, but four people were killed and ten others wounded.[26] Those who died were Security Chief Drissa Ouattara, the Prime Minister's bodyguard Siaka Diomandé, and Protocole d’Etat members Sékou Doumbia and Souleymane Sérifou.[27] Arrests were subsequently reported.[28]

2020 Ivorian presidential electionEdit

Soro has stated that he intends to compete in the 2020 Ivorian presidential election.

On April 29, 2020, Soro was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison on charges of embezzling public funds and money laundering.[29]


  1. ^ Oliver Furley and Roy May. Ending Africa's Wars: Progressing to Peace, 2006. Page 71.
  2. ^ Christopher L. Salter and Joseph John Hobbs. Essentials of World Regional Geography, 2006. Page 489.
  3. ^ Mieu, Baudelaire (6 June 2019). "Cote d'Ivoire 2020 elections: Soro makes a bid for president". The Africa Report. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  4. ^ Anne Boher, "Ivory Coast coalition government raises hopes", Reuters (IOL), 16 April 2003.
  5. ^ "Soro meets Gbagbo, opposes multiple referendum", IRIN, 13 January 2004.
  6. ^ "Gbagbo sacks rebel chief from power-sharing cabinet", IRIN, 20 May 2004.
  7. ^ "Ivorian rebel ministers sacked", BBC News, 20 May 2004.
  8. ^ "Power sharing cabinet meets for first time in five months", IRIN, 9 August 2004.
  9. ^ "New government announced after weeks of haggling", IRIN, 29 December 2005.
  10. ^ "Rebel leader attends first cabinet meeting in over a year", IRIN, 15 March 2006.
  11. ^ "Ivory Coast rebel chief, official in talks", AFP (IOL), 14 March 2007.
  12. ^ Loucoumane Coulibaly, "Soro is ready to be premier of Ivory Coast", Reuters (IOL), 27 March 2007.
  13. ^ "Rebel leader 'is new Ivorian PM'", BBC News, 27 March 2007.
  14. ^ "Soro appointed PM" Archived 7 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine,, 29 March 2007.
  15. ^ "Former rebel leader takes over as Ivory Coast's prime minister", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), 4 April 2007.
  16. ^ "Gbagbo names government led by rebel", Reuters (IOL), 7 April 2007.
  17. ^ "Ivorian Premier Guillaume Soro forms a government of 32 ministers"[permanent dead link], African Press Agency, 7 April 2007.
  18. ^ "Ivorian PM’s apology captures weekend newspaper headlines"[permanent dead link], African Press Agency, 15 April 2007.
  19. ^ "Ivory Coast leaders burn weapons", BBC News, 30 July 2007.
  20. ^ "Côte d'Ivoire: Gbagbo en zone rebelle pour prôner la paix et des élections rapides" Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, AFP, 30 July 2007 (in French).
  21. ^ "Côte d'Ivoire: Guillaume Soro exprimera ses ambitions après la présidentielle" Archived 21 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, AFP, 17 March 2008 (in French).
  22. ^ "Ivory Coast's Soro elected head of parliament", Reuters, 12 March 2012.
  23. ^ Amadou Gueye, "Elections législatives en Cote d’ivoire: » Guillaume Soro réélu avec 98,71% »", Senego, 19 December 2016 (in French).
  24. ^ "Législatives ivoiriennes: les premiers résultats", Radio France Internationale, 19 December 2016 (in French).
  25. ^ Claire Rainfroy, "Côte d’Ivoire : Guillaume Soro largement réélu président de l’Assemblée nationale", Jeune Afrique, 9 January 2017 (in French).
  26. ^ "Rockets fired at Ivorian PM plane", BBC News, 29 June 2007.
  27. ^ "Obsèques nationales pour les victimes" (in French). Centre d'informations et de communication gouvernementale (CICG). 10 July 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2007.
  28. ^ "Côte d'Ivoire: arrestations après l'attentat contre le Premier ministre Soro" Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Agence France-Presse, 30 June 2007 (in French).
  29. ^ Larson, Krista (28 April 2020). "I. Coast Opposition Leader Sentenced to 20 Years in Absentia". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 29 April 2020.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
New political party Leader of the Patriotic Movement
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Konan Banny
Prime Minister of the Ivory Coast
Succeeded by
Jeannot Ahoussou-Kouadio
Preceded by
Amani N'Guessan
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Alassane Ouattara