Republic of Côte d’Ivoire commonly known as the Ivory Coast is part of
West Africa. It covers an area of around 322,462 km2, and borders
the countries of Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana. Its
southern boundary is the Gulf of Guinea.
At one time it was known as one of the great trading empires of West Africa.
Prior to the Ivory Coasts occupation by Europeans, Côte d'Ivoire was
home to several important states, including Gyaaman, the Kong Empire,
and Baoulé. There were also two Anyi kingdoms, Indénié and Sanwi, which
attempted to retain their separate identity through the French colonial
period and even after Côte d'Ivoire's independence.
During the 1300’s The Mandinka (or Dyuola) people arrived in the region having migrated from the Niger basin.
The Mali Empire extended into the northwest corner of Côte d'Ivoire, around present day Odienné.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive along the coast,
trading in gold, ivory and pepper. While the local chiefs started up
the slave trade capturing Africans from the interior.
1637 Saw the arrival of the first French missionaries in to the country.
1750’s The Baoulé kingdom was established around the town of Sakasso by an Akan group fleeing the Asante Empire (now Ghana).
French trading posts were established along the coastal areas, and a
protectorate was negotiated by the French Admiral Bouët-Willaumez.
Trading rights along coast were negotiated by French admiral,
Bouët-Willaumez, with local chiefs as the coastal regions were by now
under a French protectorate. Although the Malinke empire in the
interior resisted the French occupation until 1918.
Following the defeat in the Franco-Prussion war, France withdrew almost
all of its military from the country, leaving it open to commercial
1881 The Samouri Touré's Wassoulou Empire extended into the northern part of the country.
1885 France's interest in Côte d'Ivoire was acknowledged at a special Berlin Conference, attended by most European countries.
1886 France took direct control over all of the costal trading posts.
1887 A French Protectorate agreement was reached between Lieutenant Louis Gustave Binger for France, and all the local chiefs.
Lieutenant Louis Gustave Binger completed a two year journey through
the interior of Côte d'Ivoire . While an Additional protectorate
agreement was reached with the local chiefs.
1892 A border agreement was agreed with neighbouring Liberia.
1893 A border agreement was reached with the British colony of Gold Coast (now Ghana).
10th March 1893
Formal French colonial rule was introduced following the scramble for
Africa by many warring European nations. France created the colony of
Côte d'Ivoire. Captain Louis Gustave Binger was appointed as governor.
1895 Samouri Touré's forces destroyed the city of Kong, in north Côte d'Ivoire.
1898 Present borders of Côte d'Ivoire fixed.
29th September 1898 Samouri Touré was captured and exiled to Gabon.
1903 to 1936 Development of plantations and cash crops throughout the country.
1904 Côte d'Ivoire became part of the Federation of French West Africa.
1908 French military occupation of Côte d'Ivoire.
1910 The Abe people in southern Côte d'Ivoire, rebelled against the French.
1914 -1918 The Indigenous people rebelled when France attempted to conscript them for the First World War.
1934 Large parts of the French colony of Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) were taken and added to Côte d'Ivoire.
Felix Houphouet-Boigny, later to become the Ivory Coast's first
president, founded the union of African farmers, which developed into
the inter-territorial African Democratic Rally and its Ivorian section,
the Ivory Coast Democratic Party.
1946 The Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA, African Democratic Rally) was formed.
1946 Côte d'Ivoire and Upper Volta once again separated.
By the end of the 1940's French rule over the country had become excessively oppressive.
1958 Côte d'Ivoire began internal self-government as a republic within the French Community, and became a French Republic.
1st May 1959 Houphouët-Boigny became prime minister of Côte d'Ivoire.
1st August 1960
Independence was granted from France, and Félix Houphouët-Boigny became
president, who went on to hold power until he died in 1993.
1963 An attempted military coup is put down.
1970 Côte d'Ivoire developed its own oil extraction industry.
1973 An attempted military coup is put down.
1980 An attempted military coup is put down.
1981 An agricultural recession had a significant affect on the economy as the national debt began to grow.
1983 Félix Houphouët-Boigny declared that the capital to be moved from Abidjan to his home city of Yamoussoukro.
1987 The price of cocoa fell on the international markets by 50%, and the economy once again was hit badly.
1989 Félix Houphouët-Boigny has world's largest Catholic basilica built at Yamoussoukro.
March 1990 A New constitution for the country was introduced.
The opposition parties became legalised. Houphouet-Boigny won the Ivory
Coast's first multiparty presidential election, beating Laurent Gbagbo
of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI).
1993 Henri Konan Bedie became the president following the death of Houphouet-Boigny.
Henri Konan Bedie was re-elected in a ballot that was boycotted by the
opposition parties in protest at restrictions imposed on their
Alassane Ouattara, a Muslim, left his job at the International Monetary
Fund and returned to run for president during the 2000 elections. His
plan to challenge Henri Konan Bedie split the country along ethnic and
religious lines. Opponents claimed he was a national of Burkina Faso
(to the north) and not the Ivory Coast.
1999 Henri Konan Bedie was overthrown by a military coup led by Robert Guei. Bedie fled to exile in France.
this first successful military coup, the Ivory Coast was a model of
stability and good economic growth for all African nations. The
consequences of military coup were economic breakdown and a civil war
splitting the country into two halves, north and south.
Robert Guei proclaimed himself as president after announcing he had won
the presidential elections, but he was later forced to flee the country
in the wake of a popular uprising against his perceived rigging of the
October 2000 Laurent
Gbagbo, believed to be the real winner in the presidential election,
was proclaimed president. Opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, was
excluded from running in the poll, and there were many calls for a
Fighting erupted between Laurent Gbagbo's mainly southern Christian
supporters and followers of Ouattara, who were mostly Muslims from the
December 2000 President Laurent Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) emerged as the biggest single party in parliamentary elections.
January 2001 An attempted military coup is put down.
President Laurent Gbagbo and opposition leader Alassane Ouattara met
for the first time since violence erupted between their supporters
during October 2000 and agreed to work towards reconciliation.
International media revealed stories of a child slave ship off Africa's
west coast that spark allegations of child slavery in the cocoa
plantations, straining international relations. The government moved to
tackle the issue.
There were calls for fresh presidential and legislative elections after
Alassane Ouattara's party gained a majority during local elections.
Amnesty International criticised the government's human rights record
over the alleged extra judicial killings of 57 northerners during the
presidential election campaign in October 2000. Eight gendarmes accused
of the killings were cleared during an investigation in August 2001.
President Laurent Gbagbo set up a National Reconciliation Forum.
General Guei refused to attend in protest against the arrest of his
close friend and aide Captain Fabien Coulibaly.
November 2001 The opposition leader Alassane Ouattara returned, ending his year-long exile in France and Gabon.
August 2002 Alassane Ouattara’s RDR opposition party given four ministerial posts in a new government shake up.
19th September 2002
A Mutiny in Abidjan by soldiers unhappy at being demobilised grew into
full-scale rebellion. While the Ivory Coast Patriotic Movement
rebels seized control of the northern part of the Country.
http://www.orbspatrianostra.com/ops/ops-cote-d-ivoire.html (From Jeanpierre Kandani)
A short lived cease fire gave way to further clashes and a battle for
the key cocoa industry town of Daloa. While previously unknown rebel
groups seized towns in the west of the country.
Political parties and rebels agreed on a new government to include nine
members from the rebel groups. The prime minister Seydou Diarra, was
given the task of forming cabinet.
May 2003 Armed forces signed a cease fire with the rebel groups.
July 2003 At a ceremony in the presidential palace, the military chiefs and rebels declared the war to be over.
A group of suspected mercenaries and their backers were detained in
France. They were accused of planning to assassinate President
October-December 2003 President Laurent Gbagbo accepted a peace deal proposing power sharing during talks in Paris.
December 2003 19 people were killed in an armed attack on the state TV building in Abidjan.
Deadly clashes took place during a crackdown of the oppositions rally
against President Gbagbo in Abidjan. The first contingent of a United
Nations peacekeeping force arrived in the country.
The United Nations reported that March’s opposition rally had been used
as a pretext for a planned operation by security forces. A report said
more than 120 people were killed and also alleged summary executions
The Ivorian Air Force attacked rebels, while French forces entered the
battle after nine of their soldiers were killed in an air strike, as
violent anti-French protests took place. The United Nations imposed an
arms embargo on the country.
The parliament passed reforms envisaged under the 2003 peace accord,
including abolishing the need for a president to have Ivorian parents.
April 2005 After talks held in South Africa the government and rebels declared an "immediate and final end" to all hostilities.
Massacres took place in the western town of Duekoue. President Gbagbo
reported that more than 100 people had been killed, but contradicted
widely held views that ethnic rifts lay behind the violence.
Planned elections were shelved as President Gbagbo invoked a law
which he said allowed him to stay in power. The United Nations extended
his mandate for a further year.
Economist Charles Konan Banny was nominated as prime minister by
mediators. He was expected to disarm militias and rebels and to
organise elections due by October 2006.
Violent street demonstrations by supporters of President Gbagbo over
what they saw as United Nations interference in the countries internal
The main political rivals met on Ivorian soil for the first time since
the 2002 rebellion. They agreed to meet again to sort out differences.
June 2006 Militias loyal to President Gbagbo miss a disarmament deadlines.
Political and rebel leaders reported that they had failed to make any
breakthrough on the main issues standing in the way of elections. The
government resigned over a scandal involving the dumping of toxic waste
in Abidjan. Fumes from the waste killed three people and made many more
November 2006 The United Nations Security Council resolution was extended for the transitional government's mandate for another year.
The government and rebels (New Forces) signed a power sharing peace
deal, mediated by Burkina Faso. Under the deal, New Forces leader
Guillaume Soro was named as the prime minister.
President Gbagbo declared "the war is over" between his government and
northern rebels, as the two sides moved to dismantle the military
buffer zone. Within days aid workers reported an increase in violence.
May 2007 The Militia’s began to disarm.
June 2007 Prime Minister Soro survived a rocket attack on his plane.
October 2007 The United Nations Security Council voted to maintain sanctions for another year.
December 2007 Rebel and government soldiers pulled back from their front-line positions as part of process to reunite the country.
The United Nations renewed its mandate of 8,000 peacekeepers for a
further six months to ensure the elections were held by mid 2008.
Ten people were arrested and charged for plotting a coup in December
2007. Their alleged ring-leader Sergeant Ibrahim Coulibaly, denied the
President Gbagbo cancelled custom duties after a second day of violent
protests against rising food costs. The date for the long awaited
presidential elections were put back from June to the end of November
May 2008 Former rebels who still controlled the northern half of the country began disarming.
The Ivory Coast complained that a 2004 United Nations arms embargo was
crippling efforts to cut illegal fishing. The government increased
diesel prices by 44% and petrol by 29% in a response to rising world
August 2008 The government halved ministerial salaries and those of state company managers to pay for a 10% fuel-price cut.
The United Nations extended its arms embargo and sanctions on the Ivory
Coast's diamond trade for another year, promising to review the embargo
once the country held a presidential election.
President Gbagbo and Prime Minister Soro agreed to postpone
presidential elections yet again, citing delays in voter registration
and security concerns.
April 2009 International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to write off $3bn (£2bn) of Ivory Coast's $12.8bn national debt.
Former rebels handed over 10 northern zones to civilian administrators,
as part of the process of returning the northern part of the country to
October 2009 United nations extends its ban on the Ivory Coast's diamond trade for another year.
November 2009 Presidential elections due on 29th November were postponed once again.
Voter registration was suspended indefinitely after days of violent
protests at the government’s handling of the process. President Gbagbo
dissolved the government and electoral commission, triggering further
unrest in the country. Guillaume Soro formed a new coalition government
that included both main opposition parties.
August 2010 Premier Soro announced presidential election to take place on 31st October 2010.
September 2010 President Gbagbo approved finalised list of eligible voters, a crucial step towards holding much-delayed elections.
The first round of presidential election failed to produce an outright
winner. A run-off was scheduled for 28th November 2010.
Further articles of interest