Cote D'Ivoire: Peace on a Precipice

Ten years ago Côte d’Ivoire and Zimbabwe were believed to be stable and economically successful. Since then both countries have seen a dramatic decline in prosperity, hallmarked by poor governance, bad leadership, racism, xenophobia and clumsy efforts at land reform. This year both will hold elections. Côte d’Ivoire is the most immediately worrying, its crisis could blow up into a bloody all–out civil war that would have serious implications for West Africa.

The World Today Updated 12 November 2020 Published 1 January 2005 3 minute READ

Since late 2002 Côte d’Ivoire has been split in two, rebel dominated in the north and government controlled in the south. Recently UN embargoes were slapped on the country and a six thousand strong UN force attempts to oversee a fragile peace. France also has about five thousand troops there.

Peace remains on a precipice since the government violated the peace accords on November 4 by launching an offensive to disarm the rebels. This included the bombing of a French base in Bouake, killing nine French soldiers and an American humanitarian worker. France responded immediately by destroying much of President Laurent Gbagbo’s airforce, his presidential jet and seizing control of Abidjan airport. The offensive was stopped in its tracks.

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