Arsène Usher Assouan Edit Profile
He went to the primary school in his home town and then to the St Augustin Seminary at Bingerville, the Professional Training School and the Lycec in Abidjan, to the Lycee Renard in Vendome, France, and graduated at the Bordeaux Faculty of Law and Political Studies, a well-known conservative seat of learning.
Attached to Felix Houphouet Boigny’s cabinet, while the latter was Minister-Delegate in the french government, he returned to the Ivory Coast in 1957, to become a lawyer at the Abidjan Court of Appeal.
From 1957 until March 1958, he was also Director of the Caisse d’Allocations lamiliales. Elected to the Legislative Assembly in March 1958, he was also its Vice-President until November 1960, when he was sent to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly. On December 30 of that year he became his country’s permanent representative, a post which he held for almost six years, until January 21, 1966, when he was made Minister of foreign Affairs. He was also, for a time (1964-7), a member of the UN Security Council.
Acknowledged as the top man in foreign affairs, where he has served as Minister since 1966. He spent the decisive postindependence years at the United Nations, explaining his country’s foreign policy. A keen supporter of de Gaulle, he created many bitter critics, particularly among the more radical countries. The Ivory Coast found itself in a minority on the question of Biafra’s recogni-tion, the need for “dialogue” with South Africa and relations with Israel. More recently his undisputed mastery of the Foreign Affairs Ministry has confirmed his critics in their fears that the Ivory Coast will follow an uncommitted policy of “peace through neutrality".