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Ivory Coast reopens land borders closed since 2020

A photo taken on June 25, 2020, shows the entrance of Ferkessedougou, capital of Tchologo region, northern Ivory Coast, close to the borders with Burkina Faso and Mali   -  
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ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP or licensors

Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast will reopen its land borders on Wednesday night, closed since March 2020 and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government spokesman announced Wednesday after the Council of Ministers.

"The Council adopted a decree opening the land borders of Côte d'Ivoire," said Amadou Coulibaly, adding that they would be reopened "at midnight".

Côte d'Ivoire had closed its land, sea and air borders on 22 March 2020, when the whole world was barricaded against the pandemic.

While the sea and air borders reopened after a few months, the land borders remained closed.

Côte d'Ivoire borders Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana. Millions of people from these countries living on Ivorian soil had to take back roads to their home countries.

"We are now in control of the clandestine transit routes, we invite all travellers to use the official routes from now on," Coulibaly said.

Côte d'Ivoire had been relatively spared by the Covid-19 pandemic with about 800 deaths, according to official figures.

Last month, the National Security Council, chaired by Head of State Alassane Ouattara, welcomed the "excellent results recorded in the fight against Covid-19 since 2020" and announced the gradual lifting of the measures provided for under the state of health emergency.

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