Ivory Coast. In February, the UN Security Council approved a peacekeeping force of over 6,000 to be sent to the Ivory Coast, where the political crisis continued despite peace agreements. According to CountryAAH, the total population in Côte d’Ivoire is 26,378,285 people in 2020. The troop’s body would be made up of the approximately 3,000 West African soldiers already there. The UN force would cooperate with France’s approximately 4,000 soldiers who monitored the downtime line in the middle of the country.
In March, the former ruling party PDCI (Parti Democratique de la Côte d’Ivoire) left the unity government on the grounds that President Laurent Gbagbo sabotaged the peace work. An example of the discriminatory policy that also upset the outside world was the government’s decision to gradually exclude immigrants from the labor market. It violated the West African cooperation organization ECOWAS agreement on the free movement of labor in the region. When government soldiers shot at least 120 protesters, the rebels from the north, who called themselves the New Forces, also left and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara’s party RDR (Rassemblement des republicans) government.
In May, the World Bank suspended lending to the Ivory Coast after the country slipped back with the repayments on previous loans.
After intensive mediation work by the UN and African Heads of State in July, the opposition parties and the New Forces joined the unity government. However, new wear and tear arose almost immediately after a promised vote in Parliament on constitutional amendments, softened citizenship rules and the creation of an independent electoral commission failed. This led to the New Forces refusing to be disarmed. Shortly thereafter, the New Forces left the government again and warned that Gbagbo was preparing for a new war. Just a few days later, government flights attacked the rebel brackets of Bouaké and Korhogo in the north.
Since nine French soldiers were killed and 22 wounded in the bombings, French flight knocked out most of Ivory Coast’s small air force. French forces then took control of much of the Ivory Coast’s economic center Abidjan and its international airport. Large anti-French demonstrations, fueled by the president’s circle, were erupted and French soldiers shot at least 20 people at one time. Several thousand Europeans, among them a small number of Swedes, were evacuated since the foreigners’ homes were looted and several women raped.
South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki, who pledged to try to mediate, said in early December that all parties agreed on a series of confidence-building measures and to resume government cooperation. The re-assembled Parliament then passed laws that facilitate immigrants’ citizenship of Ivorian citizenship and which allows people with partial foreign incursions to run for president. The exclusion of the popular Alassane Ouattara, whose one parent came from Burkina Faso, from elections was one of the triggers for the Ivory Coast political crisis.