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Ivory Coast Names Former Rebel as Army Leader

A 2009 file photo of Fofie Kouakou (L), northern Ivory Coast rebel chief commander, and General Soumaila Bakayoko, chief of Ivory Coast ex rebel forces in Bouake

The Ivory Coast government has named a former rebel leader as head of the country's armed forces.

The defense ministry named General Soumaila Bakayoko to the post in a statement Thursday.

Bakayoko led the rebel forces that helped bring President Alassane Ouattara to power in April.

He will replace General Philippe Mangou, who led the armed forces under former President Laurent Gbagbo.

Mangou briefly abandoned Gbagbo during the Ivory Coast political crisis but later returned to his duties.

The West African country plunged into a four-month conflict following disputed elections last November.

U.N.-certified results showed that Ouattara defeated Gbagbo, but the incumbent president refused to step down, sparking a power struggle that killed about 3,000 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.