Ivory Coast: December 10, 2002

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Ivory Coast suffers from a problem common in West Africa. In addition to the tribal loyalties, there are the religious differences. Moslems in the north, Christians in the south. The combination of tribal and religious loyalty requires little to set off a civil war. And that's what is happening in Ivory Coast. The government, controlled by Christian southerners, is invoking religious and tribal hatreds when recruiting southerners to put down the rebellion in the north. The rebels are largely driven by distrust of the southerners who are in charge, especially since northern politicians have, for decades had more power in the area. For centuries, the Moslems, bolstered by technology, weapons and a new religion brought by Moslem traders further to the north, had an edge over the southerners. Colonialism brought Christianity to the south, and a feeling that now it was the southerners turn. 

 

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