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Africa

Timeline: Ivory Coast's decade of conflict and limbo

Text by REUTERS

Latest update : 2010-12-03

As the Ivory Coast prepares to go the polls for an election that is five years overdue on October 31st, France24 takes a look back at events in the country since the civil war.

Sept. 19, 2002 - Dissident soldiers attack the main city of Abidjan to try to overthrow President Laurent Gbagbo. The bid fails but rebels of the Patriotic Movement of Ivory Coast (MPCI), seize the north of the country.

2002-07 - Most of the fighting ends in 2003, although there are a number of clashes in 2004. Numerous peace deals go by the wayside and election deadlines are missed.

March 4, 2007 - Gbagbo signs a new peace deal and power-sharing arrangement with rebel leader Guillaume Soro in an accord brokered by Burkina Faso's president, Blaise Campaore. A month later Gbagbo names a new government led by Soro. July 30 - In a hugely symbolic trip, Gbagbo goes to rebel headquarters in the north for the first time since the war. He meets Soro for a "Flame of Peace" ceremony to burn weapons.

April 14, 2008 - More missed election dates: Ivory Coast announces a Nov. 30 target date that fails to stick, then a new one for Nov. 29, 2009. Postponements are blamed on a range of logistical failings, accusations of irregularities, and a row over who is actually eligible to vote.

July 22, 2010 - Soro quits as rebel party chief, saying he wants to focus on making sure the presidential election can go ahead. The move comes amid a series of private meetings between Gbagbo and opposition leaders whose outcome remains unclear but which prompt speculation of behind-the-scenes progress towards staging the election.

Aug. 5 - Soro announces Oct. 31 as the date for first round of the poll.

Sept. 9
- In a step seen clearing the main political hurdle to the election, Gbagbo signs a decree validating definitive voter lists. Two weeks later, Ivory Coast begins paying former rebel soldiers who disarmed ahead of elections.

Oct 14 - In a Reuters interview from a rebel "New Forces" stronghold in the western town of Man, New Forces deputy political leader Sidike Konate says the issue of identity cards to voters ended once and for all the dispute over Ivorian identity that was at the heart of the initial conflict. Oct. 15 - The U.N. Security Council renews arms, financial and travel sanctions for six months, as well as a ban on trade in rough diamonds from the West African country. But it promises to review the sanctions within three months as soon Ivory Coast holds "open, free, fair and transparent" presidential elections.

Oct. 31 - First round of presidential election scheduled.

 

Date created : 2010-10-28

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