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Cote D'Ivoire

Population: 22 848 945

GDP: 28 280 000 000.00 $

 

Close ties to France following independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment all made Cote d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the West African states but did not protect it from political turmoil. In December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Cote d'Ivoire's history - overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert Guei blatantly rigged elections held in late 2000 and declared himself the winner. Popular protest forced him to step aside and brought Laurent Gbagbo into power.

 

 

Ivorian dissidents and disaffected members of the military launched a failed coup attempt in September 2002 that developed into a rebellion and then a civil war. The war ended in 2003 with a cease fire that left the country divided with the rebels holding the north, the government the south, and peacekeeping forces a buffer zone between the two.

 

 

In March 2007, President Gbagbo and former New Forces rebel leader Guillaume Soro signed an agreement in which Soro joined Gbagbo's government as prime minister and the two agreed to reunite the country by dismantling the buffer zone, integrating rebel forces into the national armed forces, and holding elections. Difficulties in preparing electoral registers delayed balloting until 2010.

 

 

In November 2010, Alassane Dramane Ouattara won the presidential election over Gbagbo, but Gbagbo refused to hand over power, resulting in a five-month stand-off. In April 2011, after widespread fighting, Gbagbo was formally forced from office by armed Ouattara supporters with the help of UN and French forces. Several thousand UN peacekeepers and several hundred French troops remain in Cote d'Ivoire to support the transition process.

 

 

Ouattara is focused on rebuilding the country's infrastructure and military after the five months of post-electoral fighting and faces ongoing threats from Gbagbo supporters, many of whom have sought shelter in Ghana. Gbagbo is in The Hague awaiting trial for crimes against humanity.

 

Population:  22,848,945

 

Nationality: noun: Ivoirian(s) adjective: Ivoirian

 

Ethnic groups: Akan 42.1%, Voltaiques or Gur 17.6%, Northern Mandes 16.5%, Krous 11%, Southern Mandes 10%, other 2.8% (includes 130,000 Lebanese and 14,000 French).

 

Languages: French (official), 60 native dialects of which Dioula is the most widely spoken.

 

Religions:  Muslim 38.6%, Christian 32.8%, indigenous 11.9%, none 16.7%. The majority of foreigners (migratory workers) are Muslim (70%) and Christian (20%).

 

GDP

 

GDP: $ 28 280 000 000.00 (2013)

 

Republican Forces of Cote d'Ivoire (Force Republiques de Cote d'Ivoire, FRCI): Army, Navy, Cote d'Ivoire Air Force (Force Aerienne de la Cote d'Ivoire).

FRCI is the former Armed Forces of the New Forces (FAFN).

 

Disputed maritime border between Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana.

 

Cote d'Ivoire is illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for local consumption; utility as a narcotic transshipment point to Europe reduced by ongoing political instability; while rampant corruption and inadequate supervision leave the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, the lack of a developed financial system limits the country's utility as a major money-laundering center.

 

Stateless persons: 700,000 (2012).

 

Many Ivoirians lack documentation proving their nationality, which prevent them from accessing education and healthcare; birth on Ivorian soil does not automatically result in citizenship; disputes over citizenship and the associated rights of the large population descended from migrants from neighboring countries is an ongoing source of tension and contributed to the country's 2002 civil war; some observers believe the government's mass naturalizations of thousands of people over the last couple of years is intended to boost its electoral support base; the government in October 2013 acceded to international conventions on statelessness and in August 2013 reformed its nationality law, key steps to clarify the nationality of thousands of residents.

 

Capital: Yamoussoukro; Although Yamoussoukro has been the official capital since 1983, Abidjan remains the commercial and administrative center.

 

Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia. Most of the inhabitants live along the sandy coastal region; apart from the capital area, the forested interior is sparsely populated.

 

Geographic coordinates:

8 00 N, 5 00 W.

 

Area:

total: 322,463 sq km

land: 318,003 sq km

water: 4,460 sq km

 

Land boundaries:

total: 3,458 km

border countries: Burkina Faso 545 km, Ghana 720 km, Guinea 816 km, Liberia 778 km, Mali 599 km.

 

Coastline: 515 km.

 

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, hydropower.