Cote d'Ivoire - a quick chronology of recent events
1970s – Sometimes seen as the golden age of Cote d’Ivoire, it witnessed the boom of the cacao industry of the country. During this time however the political regime remained moderately repressive, with the single-party regime of Houphouet-Boigny
1980s- Signaled the beginning of some turbulent years for the Cote d’Ivoire. This decade saw a sharp drop in the prices of primary commodities (including cocoa which lost 2/3 of its value) and a subsequent crisis for the country.
1993 – The death of Houphouet-Boigny triggered a run of events which culminated in a fierce succession struggle between Bramane Ouattara and Henry Bedié. Bedié excluded Ouattara based on his burkine ancestry. His reign exacerbated ethnic tensions.
1999- Coup by Robert Guei
2000 - Laurent Gbagbo came to power. In this struggle, Ouattara was again left out as its candidacy was seen as non-constitutional on the basis of its Burkine ancestry and its non-Ivoirian origins.
19 September 2002 – Guillaume Soro begins an armed revolt from the North and West. He takes key cities like Bouaké. During the altercations General Guei ended up pursued and executed. By this time as well France deployed Force Licorne in an attempt to bring peace and stabilization as well as in an attempt to protect its large French community in the country.
2003 Seydou Diarra became the head of a divided government, as Prime Minister
4 november 2004 – During Gbagbo’s operation Dignité in the North, 8 French soldiers are killed. France’s retaliation in destroying the country’s air force is met with major anti-France uprisings in Abidjan in particular.
2004- new government with Charles Konan Banny
March 4 2007 – The Ouagadougou accord halts military confrontation and puts Guillaume Soro as Prime Minister of a reconciliation government. Laurent Gbagbo continues pulling the key strings in the country and his position comes out reinforced.
Late 2008, beginning of 2009 – Politics remain considerably antagonistic and tense in the country. There are still considerable amounts of weapons scattered around and the disarmament process has been difficult and controversial to say the least. The elections are on stand by waiting for the census to be finished and for everyone to get their ID but again, the process has been length and riddled with a multitude of problems. Regarding Ouattara, he is in fact running for the elections this times so the constitutional barrier of “Ivorianess” has been thankfully dropped for now.
My hope and wishes remain that everything will go smoothly with the elections and that the country’s potential can be fulfilled to its maximum as it should.