Ivory Coast

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The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire commonly known as the Ivory Coast is part of West Africa. It covers an area of around 322,462 km2, and borders the countries of Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana. Its southern boundary is the Gulf of Guinea.

At one time it was known as one of the great trading empires of West Africa.

Prior to the Ivory Coasts occupation by Europeans, Côte d'Ivoire was home to several important states, including Gyaaman, the Kong Empire, and Baoulé. There were also two Anyi kingdoms, Indénié and Sanwi, which attempted to retain their separate identity through the French colonial period and even after Côte d'Ivoire's independence.

During the 1300’s The Mandinka (or Dyuola) people arrived in the region having migrated from the Niger basin.

The Mali Empire extended into the northwest corner of Côte d'Ivoire, around present day Odienné.

1600’s The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive along the coast, trading in gold, ivory and pepper. While the local chiefs started up the slave trade capturing Africans from the interior.

1637 Saw the arrival of the first French missionaries in to the country.

1750’s The Baoulé kingdom was established around the town of Sakasso by an Akan group fleeing the Asante Empire (now Ghana).

From 1830 French trading posts were established along the coastal areas, and a protectorate was negotiated by the French Admiral Bouët-Willaumez.

1842 Trading rights along coast were negotiated by French admiral, Bouët-Willaumez, with local chiefs as the coastal regions were by now under a French protectorate. Although the Malinke empire in the interior resisted the French occupation until 1918.

1871 Following the defeat in the Franco-Prussion war, France withdrew almost all of its military from the country, leaving it open to commercial exploitation.

1881 The Samouri Touré's Wassoulou Empire extended into the northern part of the country.

1885 France's interest in Côte d'Ivoire was acknowledged at a special Berlin Conference, attended by most European countries.

1886 France took direct control over all of the costal trading posts.

1887 A French Protectorate agreement was reached between Lieutenant Louis Gustave Binger for France, and all the local chiefs.

1889 Lieutenant Louis Gustave Binger completed a two year journey through the interior of Côte d'Ivoire . While an Additional protectorate agreement was reached with the local chiefs.

1892 A border agreement was agreed with neighbouring Liberia.

1893 A border agreement was reached with the British colony of Gold Coast (now Ghana).

10th March 1893 Formal French colonial rule was introduced following the scramble for Africa by many warring European nations. France created the colony of Côte d'Ivoire. Captain Louis Gustave Binger was appointed as governor.

1895 Samouri Touré's forces destroyed the city of Kong, in north Côte d'Ivoire.

1898 Present borders of Côte d'Ivoire fixed.

29th September 1898 Samouri Touré was captured and exiled to Gabon.

1903 to 1936 Development of plantations and cash crops throughout the country.

1904 Côte d'Ivoire became part of the Federation of French West Africa.

1908 French military occupation of Côte d'Ivoire.

1910 The Abe people in southern Côte d'Ivoire, rebelled against the French.

1914 -1918 The Indigenous people rebelled when France attempted to conscript them for the First World War.

1934 Large parts of the French colony of Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) were taken and added to Côte d'Ivoire.

1944 Felix Houphouet-Boigny, later to become the Ivory Coast's first president, founded the union of African farmers, which developed into the inter-territorial African Democratic Rally and its Ivorian section, the Ivory Coast Democratic Party.

1946 The Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA, African Democratic Rally) was formed.

1946 Côte d'Ivoire and Upper Volta once again separated.

By the end of the 1940's French rule over the country had become excessively oppressive.

1958 Côte d'Ivoire began internal self-government as a republic within the French Community, and became a French Republic.

1st    May 1959 Houphouët-Boigny became prime minister of Côte d'Ivoire.

1st August 1960 Independence was granted from France, and Félix Houphouët-Boigny became president, who went on to hold power until he died in 1993.

1963 An attempted military coup is put down.

1970 Côte d'Ivoire developed its own oil extraction industry.

1973 An attempted military coup is put down.

1980 An attempted military coup is put down.

1981 An agricultural recession had a significant affect on the economy as the national debt began to grow.

1983 Félix Houphouët-Boigny declared that the capital to be moved from Abidjan to his home city of Yamoussoukro.

1987 The price of cocoa fell on the international markets by 50%, and the economy once again was hit badly.

1989 Félix Houphouët-Boigny has world's largest Catholic basilica built at Yamoussoukro.

March 1990 A New constitution for the country was introduced.

October 1990 The opposition parties became legalised. Houphouet-Boigny won the Ivory Coast's first multiparty presidential election, beating Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI).

1993 Henri Konan Bedie became the president following the death of Houphouet-Boigny.

October 1995 Henri Konan Bedie was re-elected in a ballot that was boycotted by the opposition parties in protest at restrictions imposed on their candidates.

July 1999 Alassane Ouattara, a Muslim, left his job at the International Monetary Fund and returned to run for president during the 2000 elections. His plan to challenge Henri Konan Bedie split the country along ethnic and religious lines. Opponents claimed he was a national of Burkina Faso (to the north) and not the Ivory Coast.

1999 Henri Konan Bedie was overthrown by a military coup led by Robert Guei. Bedie fled to exile in France.

Before this first successful military coup, the Ivory Coast was a model of stability and good economic growth for all African nations. The consequences of military coup were economic breakdown and a civil war splitting the country into two halves, north and south.

October 2000 Robert Guei proclaimed himself as president after announcing he had won the presidential elections, but he was later forced to flee the country in the wake of a popular uprising against his perceived rigging of the poll.

October 2000 Laurent Gbagbo, believed to be the real winner in the presidential election, was proclaimed president. Opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, was excluded from running in the poll, and there were many calls for a fresh election.

October 2000 Fighting erupted between Laurent Gbagbo's mainly southern Christian supporters and followers of Ouattara, who were mostly Muslims from the north.

December 2000 President Laurent Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) emerged as the biggest single party in parliamentary elections.

January 2001 An attempted military coup is put down.

March 2001 President Laurent Gbagbo and opposition leader Alassane Ouattara met for the first time since violence erupted between their supporters during October 2000 and agreed to work towards reconciliation.

2001 International media revealed stories of a child slave ship off Africa's west coast that spark allegations of child slavery in the cocoa plantations, straining international relations. The government moved to tackle the issue.

March 2001 There were calls for fresh presidential and legislative elections after Alassane Ouattara's party gained a majority during local elections.

June 2001 Amnesty International criticised the government's human rights record over the alleged extra judicial killings of 57 northerners during the presidential election campaign in October 2000. Eight gendarmes accused of the killings were cleared during an investigation in August 2001.

October 2001 President Laurent Gbagbo set up a National Reconciliation Forum. General Guei refused to attend in protest against the arrest of his close friend and aide Captain Fabien Coulibaly.

November 2001 The opposition leader Alassane Ouattara returned, ending his year-long exile in France and Gabon.

August 2002 Alassane Ouattara’s RDR opposition party given four ministerial posts in a new government shake up.

19th September 2002 A Mutiny in Abidjan by soldiers unhappy at being demobilised grew into full-scale rebellion.  While the Ivory Coast Patriotic Movement rebels seized control of the northern part of the Country.
http://www.orbspatrianostra.com/ops/ops-cote-d-ivoire.html (From Jeanpierre Kandani)

October 2002 A short lived cease fire gave way to further clashes and a battle for the key cocoa industry town of Daloa. While previously unknown rebel groups seized towns in the west of the country.

March 2003 Political parties and rebels agreed on a new government to include nine members from the rebel groups. The prime minister Seydou Diarra, was given the task of forming cabinet.

May 2003 Armed forces signed a cease fire with the rebel groups.

July 2003 At a ceremony in the presidential palace, the military chiefs and rebels declared the war to be over.

August 2003 A group of suspected mercenaries and their backers were detained in France.  They were accused of planning to assassinate President Gbagbo.

October-December 2003 President Laurent Gbagbo accepted a peace deal proposing power sharing during talks in Paris.

December 2003 19 people were killed in an armed attack on the state TV building in Abidjan.

March 2004 Deadly clashes took place during a crackdown of the oppositions rally against President Gbagbo in Abidjan. The first contingent of a United Nations peacekeeping force arrived in the country.

May 2004 The United Nations reported that March’s opposition rally had been used as a pretext for a planned operation by security forces. A report said more than 120 people were killed and also alleged summary executions and torture.

November 2004 The Ivorian Air Force attacked rebels, while French forces entered the battle after nine of their soldiers were killed in an air strike, as violent anti-French protests took place. The United Nations imposed an arms embargo on the country.

December 2004 The parliament passed reforms envisaged under the 2003 peace accord, including abolishing the need for a president to have Ivorian parents.

April 2005 After talks held in South Africa the government and rebels declared an "immediate and final end" to all hostilities.

June 2005 Massacres took place in the western town of Duekoue. President Gbagbo reported that more than 100 people had been killed, but contradicted widely held views that ethnic rifts lay behind the violence.

October 2005  Planned elections were shelved as President Gbagbo invoked a law which he said allowed him to stay in power. The United Nations extended his mandate for a further year.

December 2005 Economist Charles Konan Banny was nominated as prime minister by mediators. He was expected to disarm militias and rebels and to organise elections due by October 2006.

January 2006 Violent street demonstrations by supporters of President Gbagbo over what they saw as United Nations interference in the countries internal affairs.

February 2006 The main political rivals met on Ivorian soil for the first time since the 2002 rebellion. They agreed to meet again to sort out differences.

June 2006 Militias loyal to President Gbagbo miss a disarmament deadlines.

September 2006 Political and rebel leaders reported that they had failed to make any breakthrough on the main issues standing in the way of elections. The government resigned over a scandal involving the dumping of toxic waste in Abidjan. Fumes from the waste killed three people and made many more ill.

November 2006 The United Nations Security Council resolution was extended for the transitional government's mandate for another year.

March 2007 The government and rebels (New Forces) signed a power sharing peace deal, mediated by Burkina Faso. Under the deal, New Forces leader Guillaume Soro was named as the prime minister.

April 2007 President Gbagbo declared "the war is over" between his government and northern rebels, as the two sides moved to dismantle the military buffer zone. Within days aid workers reported an increase in violence.

May 2007 The Militia’s began to disarm.

June 2007 Prime Minister Soro survived a rocket attack on his plane.

October 2007 The United Nations Security Council voted to maintain sanctions for another year.

December 2007 Rebel and government soldiers pulled back from their front-line positions as part of process to reunite the country.

January 2008 The United Nations renewed its mandate of 8,000 peacekeepers for a further six months to ensure the elections were held by mid 2008.

January 2008 Ten people were arrested and charged for plotting a coup in December 2007. Their alleged ring-leader Sergeant Ibrahim Coulibaly, denied the charges.

April 2008 President Gbagbo cancelled custom duties after a second day of violent protests against rising food costs. The date for the long awaited presidential elections were put back from June to the end of November 2008.

May 2008 Former rebels who still controlled the northern half of the country began disarming.

July 2008 The Ivory Coast complained that a 2004 United Nations arms embargo was crippling efforts to cut illegal fishing. The government increased diesel prices by 44% and petrol by 29% in a response to rising world oil prices.

August 2008 The government halved ministerial salaries and those of state company managers to pay for a 10% fuel-price cut.

October 2008 The United Nations extended its arms embargo and sanctions on the Ivory Coast's diamond trade for another year, promising to review the embargo once the country held a presidential election.

November 2008 President Gbagbo and Prime Minister Soro agreed to postpone presidential elections yet again, citing delays in voter registration and security concerns.

April 2009 International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to write off $3bn (£2bn) of Ivory Coast's $12.8bn national debt.

May 2009 Former rebels handed over 10 northern zones to civilian administrators, as part of the process of returning the northern part of the country to state control.

October 2009 United nations extends its ban on the Ivory Coast's diamond trade for another year.

November 2009 Presidential elections due on 29th November were postponed once again.

February 2010 Voter registration was suspended indefinitely after days of violent protests at the government’s handling of the process. President Gbagbo dissolved the government and electoral commission, triggering further unrest in the country. Guillaume Soro formed a new coalition government that included both main opposition parties.

August 2010 Premier Soro announced presidential election to take place on 31st October 2010.

September 2010 President Gbagbo approved finalised list of eligible voters, a crucial step towards holding much-delayed elections.

October 2010 The first round of presidential election failed to produce an outright winner. A run-off was scheduled for 28th November 2010.



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