Ivory Coast: Phony War


January 18, 2006: The FPI (the ruling party Ivorian Popular Front) is demanding the 10,000 French and African Union (AU) peacekeepers get out. The party leader, president Laurent Gbagbo, will not compromise with the northern rebels, nor will he allow a new parliament, which he does not control, take office. Gbagbo wants to destroy the northern rebels, but does not have the military power to do so. He can't push past the 10,000 peacekeepers either.

January 17, 2006: Several hundred FPI supporters stormed a UN base, but were driven back with tear gas and troops firing warning shots.

January 16, 2006: In protest to UN recommendations that the parliament be suspended, supporters of president Laurent Gbagbo began rioting in the capital. Gbagbo controls the current parliament, which was elected without representing the northern rebels.

January 7, 2006: The attack on army bases in the capital earlier this month apparently involved several dozen men from Burkina Faso.

January 6, 2006: In the last three months, the rebel held part of the country exported 130,000 tons of cocoa. That's about a third of the national production.


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