France moved more troops into the commercial capital (Abidjan) in order to protect thousands of French, and other foreign, residents. Mobs of nationalistic young men have been burning and looting the homes and businesses of French citizens. The nationalistic southerners blame the French for not helping the government to defeat the northern rebels. Now France has destroyed the Ivory Coast air force and is aiding UN peacekeepers in preventing government troops from entering rebel controlled territory in the north. The tension, and violence, is a result of decades of prosperity in Ivory Coast, and the migration of thousands of people (many of them Moslem) from neighboring countries, to take advantage of the economic boom. This became a growing political issue in the last decade, and led to civil war two years ago. The economy is now in ruins, and the southerners, who are overwhelmingly native Ivorians, see the expulsion of anyone not from a native Ivorian tribe, as the solution to all problems. But many of the "foreigners" have been here for decades and are willing to fight rather than leave.
The government has called off its invasion of the north, and is trying to deal with the French troops taking over the capital (in order to protect foreigners, both African and European).