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.