Working Paper 74

From Stability to Uncertainty: a recent political history of Côte d'Ivoire

Youssouf Diallo

Department ‘Integration and Conflict’

Year of publication

Number of pages

Working Paper 74

This paper is about the internal conflict in Côte d’Ivoire (or Ivory Coast). After independence in 1960, Côte d’Ivoire has achieved rapid economic growth and political stability under the presidency of Houphouet Boigny. Yet by the end of the 1980s, an economic crisis created difficult conditions for the large majority of the population, while power and wealth were concentrated in the hands of a small minority. After the death of Houphouet Boigny in 1993, Côte d’Ivoire entered a period of turmoil characterised by power struggles, conflicts among various communities living in the country and army mutinies, which culminated in civil war in September 2002. In January 2003, the international community organised a peace conference in Paris, where the conflicting parties and the major political forces signed the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement. A Government of National Reconciliation has received the mandate to realise the resolutions of the peace conference by the next presidential elections planned for October 2005. However, Côte d’Ivoire is still at a political impasse. Whether the political leaders will have the capacity to rebuild the state and achieve national unity is more than uncertain.

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