The eighteenth-month ceaseﬁre between the Côte d’Ivoire government and northern-based rebels was shattered a year ago when the airforce bombed the main rebel-held cities and a French base, killing nine French soldiers. France retaliated by decimating Ivoirian airpower. That sparked a new colonial war: local militants attacked French people and property, and French soldiers ﬁred live ammunition into demonstrators in Abidjan, the economic capital.
The UN Security Council imposed a thirteen-month arms and military equipment embargo, threatening further sanctions on human rights abusers and peace process spoilers, including a travel ban and assets freeze. This left President Laurent Gbagbo’s government with few friends beyond Angola. Israel has distanced itself and China, although interested in oil and cocoa, has refused to provide military training.