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Introduction: Close ties to France since independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment made Cote d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the West African states, but did not protect it from political turmoil. In December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Cote d'Ivoire's history - overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert GUEI blatantly rigged elections held in late 2000 and declared himself the winner. Popular protest forced him to step aside and brought Laurent GBAGBO into power. Ivorian dissidents and disaffected members of the military launched a failed coup attempt in September 2002. Rebel...
History: The early history of Cote d'Ivoire is virtually unknown, although it is thought that a Neolithic culture existed. France made its initial contact with Cote d'Ivoire in 1637, when missionaries landed at Assinie near the Gold Coast (now Ghana) border. Early contacts were limited to a few missionaries because of the inhospitable coastline and settlers' fear of the inhabitants.
International Relations: The xenophobia which preceded and accompanied the civil war has strained the country's relations with its neighbours, particularly those sahelian countries to the north, which provide migrant labour for the cocoa farms. Large numbers have returned to their countries of origin during the civil war putting pressure on their home states and resulting in a serious loss of remittance revenues. Trade routes have also been disrupted.
France remains the country's main trading partner and principal bilateral aid donor in spite of current difficulties in the relationship. Although the number of expatriate French in Côte d'Ivoire ...
NEWS - COTE D'IVOIRE
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