Ivory Coast: October 24, 2003


The government fired the National Police chief, in the wake of the investigation of Jean Helene's murder. While Security Minister Martin Bleou rejected calls for his resignation, he promised to reform the police force, improve police training and remove heavy weapons from police officers. Authorities had arrested a police sergeant, whom witnesses and officials said had challenged Helene's presence outside the central police headquarters. The policeman claims the shooting was unintentional. 

The West African press, in condemning the killed, have speculated that it might have been a pre-ordered 'execution'. One writer argued that the French media brought it on themselves, noting that the Ivorian antagonism toward the French media was based on their "obnoxiously" one-sided coverage the Ivorian crisis. - Adam Geibel 


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