Cote d’Ivoire


Conflict Summary

After Côte d’Ivoire gained independence from France in 1960, the West African state was a model of stability for nearly 40 years. The political and security situation in the country began to deteriorate following the death of Felix Houphouët-Boigny in 1993, which ended his 33 year presidency. In 2002, a troop mutiny escalated into an armed rebellion, which split the Côte d’Ivoire between a rebel-held, Muslim-dominated north and a government-controlled Christian south. The conflict continued until 2004, despite a 2003 ceasefire and United Nations and French peacekeeper patrols between the two regions. In 2010, tensions mounted again when President Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after he lost the presidential elections. In March 2011, violence associated with the political crisis erupted into a second civil war between forces loyal to Gbagbo and supporters of the internationally recognised president-elect, Alassane Ouattara. UN and French forces intervened to help bring the conflict to an end with the arrest of Gbagbo on 11 April. Both Ivorian sides have been accused of human rights abuses in a conflict which claimed some 3,248 lives over the seven month period. Supporters of Gbagbo continue their violent campaign against the current government.