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Ivory Coast PM Presents New, Largely Unchanged, Government Following Toxic Scandal


The prime minister of Ivory Coast has announced the formation of a new - but largely unchanged - government to replace the one he disbanded earlier this month in the midst of a toxic waste scandal.

Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny Saturday announced that he would retain his post as the head of government. He also said that he was replacing only the ministers of transport and the environment.

The new environment minister, Ayizi Aka, said Saturday he thinks the government will be able to tackle the problems created by the toxic waste.

Mr. Banny disbanded the transitional government 10 days ago after Abidjan residents denounced the illegal dumping of toxic refuse in and around the nation's commercial capital.

Health officials say they have treated more than 25,000 people for symptoms linked to the toxic fumes, including vomiting, nausea and breathing difficulties. Officials say at least six people have died after inhaling fumes from the waste.

Investigators say toxic waste was dumped in as many as 14 open-air sites around the coastal city.

An Ivorian company named Tommy is being blamed for improperly dumping the refuse. A Dutch company says it turned the waste over to Tommy for safe and legal disposal.

On Friday, Ivorians angered by the scandal attacked the former transport minister, Kobenan Anaky, and set fire to his car.

Last week, opposition leaders called on the prime minister to step down and threatened to boycott the new government.

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