After a bloodless military coup in December 1999, Robert Gueï (* 1941, † 2002; Chief of Staff until 1995) took power and formed a transitional government made up of military personnel; the former president Bédié fled abroad. In the presidential elections on October 22nd, 2000, to which leading opposition candidates were not admitted, won Laurent Gbagbo, the leader of the Front Populaire Ivoirien (FPI), after initially Gueï declared the election winner and thus triggered some bloody arguments. In the parliamentary elections in December 2000 and in the by-election in January 2001, the FPI was able to achieve considerable profits, but failed to achieve an absolute majority. The Rassemblement des Républicains (RDR) with its Muslim top candidate A. Ouattara was excluded from the election, so the by-election in the Muslim north was almost completely boycotted. On August 5, 2002, the reconciliation process came to a preliminary conclusion with the formation of a government of national unity, which also included four members of the RDR. On September 19, 2002, a rebellion began, predominantly of former soldiers who joined forces in the Forces Nouvelles (FN) and, among other things, demanded their reintegration into the army, the removal of President Gbagbo, new elections and equal rights for the Muslim majority living in the north of the country; as a result of the fighting, Gueï also became murdered. Starting from the north of the country, the units of the FN conquered almost half of the country within a short time. With the mediation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), representatives of the FN signed an armistice on October 17, 2002, which was intended to initiate peace talks between the government and the insurgents. ECOWAS appointed the then President of Togo, É. G. Eyadema, as the coordinator of these talks. In addition, to monitor the ceasefire, it was decided to send around 2,000 soldiers from the ECOWAS countries to support the around 2,500 French soldiers stationed in the country. Despite repeated ceasefire declarations, the fighting continued suddenly; the country was in fact divided since then.
On January 24, 2003, in Marcoussis (near Paris), the parties to the conflict agreed on a peace agreement with the mediation of France. This saw inter alia. proposed to involve the rebels in a “government of national reconciliation” and to disarm the conflicting parties. Gbagbo would continue to serve as president with limited powers until 2005. The Muslim Seydou Elimane Diarra (* 1933) from the north of the countrywas appointed prime minister, who could not return to the country because Gbagbo refused to guarantee him security. Against the peace agreement and v. a. tens of thousands protested the participation of the FN in government; There were also serious riots, mainly directed against French institutions. The West African troops stationed in the country and increased to around 4,500 French troops received a UN mandate at the beginning of February 2003 to protect the civilian population and to guarantee the ceasefire, if necessary with force. In addition, at the end of February 2004, the UN Security Council voted for an additional 7,000 UN soldiers to be stationed to monitor the peace process and disarm the FN units. In order to end the civil war peacefully, on March 8, Diarra, who was dismissed by President Gbagbo in May 2004 for neglect of official duties; the rebels had already left the government after the bloody crackdown on a demonstration. The implementation of the Marcoussis Peace Agreement (2003) was made more difficult, on the one hand, by Gbagbo’s refusal to limit his powers, on the other hand by the announcement of the rebels not to surrender their weapons. The domestic political situation worsened at the beginning of November 2004 after government troops attacked positions of the FN rebels in the north of the country. After French soldiers were also killed, French units destroyed the air force of the Republic of Ivory Coast in retaliation. This led to fighting between French armed forces and government troops as well as again to anti-French protests and violent attacks on foreigners, v. a. in Abidjan.
According to prozipcodes, the UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo in mid-November 2004 in response to the acts of violence. With a mandate from the African Union (AU), South African President T. M. Mbeki tried to mediate in the conflict from the beginning of November 2004. As a first result of the talks held in Pretoria, a ceasefire between government troops and the FN rebels was agreed in April 2005; an agreement to disarm the rebels was signed in May 2005. Reigning December 2005 Interim Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny (* 1942; until his nomination as director of the West African Central Bank) should further accelerate the peace process that has begun and prepare for elections. After the UN representatives stationed in the country recommended that the National Assembly be dissolved and new elections held as soon as possible, serious unrest and attacks on UN units broke out in early January 2006. After lengthy negotiations, representatives of the government and the rebels finally agreed in early May 2006 on a timetable for ending the civil war. Accordingly, the disarming of those involved in the conflict should take place at the same time as the registration of the voters. In October 2006 the AU disbanded its agent in Ivory Coast, Mbeki, by AU or ECOWAS representatives. At the same time, the AU extended the terms of office of President Gbagbo and Prime Minister Banny by a further year; the UN Security Council approved this decision in early November 2006. Finally, after mediation by the President of Burkina Faso, B. Compaoré, the FN rebels, led by Guillaume Soro (* 1972) and President Gbagbo, signed another peace agreement in early March 2007 in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). After that, Gbagbo stayed in office. At the end of March 2007, Soro appointed as the new Prime Minister. In April 2007, the withdrawal of French and international troops from the 600 km long buffer zone began. At the beginning of May 2007, the disarmament of the militias on both sides was initiated, but progress was slow. The sharp rise in food prices sparked violent riots in Abidjan in April 2008.