Concern at Saudi envoy's murder.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Concern at Saudi envoy's murder.
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 12:03pm
Murder, mystery, intrigue, exotic location....... sounds like a very professional crime. Political? That's my impression.

The ambassador of Saudi Arabia has been found murdered in Ivory Coast's commercial capital, Abidjan.

Diplomats believe it was not politically motivated, but mystery still surrounds the motives for the killing.

The dead ambassador, Mohammed Ahmed Rasheed, was found naked, bathing in a pool of blood, in the stairwell of a towering apartment block in downtown Plateau this morning.

Although he lived on the 17th floor of the skyscraper, his body was found two floors down, and he appears to have been killed outside the flat.

One of his neighbours told me the apartment was spotless, while the corridor and stairwell were stained in blood.

One witness said he had three injury marks on his head, as if he had been hit with a heavy object.

However, earlier reports said his throat had been slit.

Dozens of police were quick to cordon off the area, and blocked journalists from seeing more.


Strangely, none of the neighbours heard any sounds last night, although most of the flats on his floor are inhabited.

Mr Rasheed had been due to dine with the Algerian ambassador last night, but cancelled at the last minute.

Mysteriously, the building suffered a rare power failure around the same time, between 2000-2100, and residents say that the sound of the generators kicking in was so loud that they could not even hear their own television sets, let alone noises from outside.

The tower block is in one of the most secure areas of Abidjan, next door to the American embassy, with private security guards manning every entrance.

None of them appears to have seen anything suspicious.

The evening curfew was recently put back from 10pm to midnight, until 0600.

Political concern

In a mark of the seriousness with which the murder is being taken by authorities, Prime Minister Seydou Diarra, foreign minister Mamadou Bamba, and Security Minister, Fofana Zemogo, all visited the scene of the crime this morning.

A few hours later the government pledged on state television that it would find the culprits.

It also lamented that every time Ivory Coast tried to find a way out of crisis, something happened to blemish its image.

Mr Rasheed only arrived in Ivory Coast last December, three months after the armed rebellion which has split the country in two.

The crisis has also led to increasing security concerns, provoking many foreign embassies, the African Development Bank and the United Nations to evacuate staff.

This latest incident will do nothing to encourage them to come back.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 12:14pm
Sounds very professional to me, as well. I don't know anything about any past interactions between the Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia - or really, even the current political conditions in Abidjan. Are they Muslim? Now I'll have to go and investigate!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 12:31pm

Wow, what a tangled mess! Looks like problems in Liberia are spilling over into the Ivory Coast. Not to mention the fact that, like Liberia, there are just too many different factions fighting for control. Everyone is fighting everyone else and the civilians are the ones caught in the middle - the ones who are dieing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 1:19pm
What irony that this was the murdered comedians favourite saying. "It's better to have an awful ending than to live awfully."


Maybe this a bit of insight why the French didn't want to join the fight in Iraq. If they're brokering peace in other sensitive hot spots.

These countries with multi-parties need to find some common ground amongst themselves. How can there be so many differences of opinion? I can understand 3-4 differences but an arguement only has so many sides. Then again when religion, different tribes ect. are thrown into the mix.