2002 uprising

In the early hours of September 19, 2002, while the President was in Italy, there was an armed uprising. Troops who were to be demobilised mutinied, launching attacks in several cities. The battle for the main gendarmerie barracks in Abidjan lasted until mid-morning, but by lunchtime the government forces had secured the main city, Abidjan. They had lost control of the north of the country, and the rebel forces made their strong-hold in the northern city of Bouake. The rebels threatened to move on Abidjan again and France deployed troops from its base in the country to stop any rebel advance. The French said they were protecting their own citizens from danger, but their deployment also aided the government forces. It was not established as a fact that the French were helping either side but each side accused them of being on the opposite side. It is disputed as to whether the French actions improved or worsened the situation in the long term. What exactly happened that night is disputed. The government said that former president Robert Guéï had led a coup attempt, and state TV showed pictures of his dead body in the street; counter-claims said that he and fifteen others had been murdered at his home and his body had been moved to the streets to incriminate him. Alassane Ouattara took refuge in the French embassy, his home burned down.

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European contact

Little is known about Côte d’Ivoire before the arrival of Portuguese ships in the 1460s. The major ethnic groups came relatively recently from neighbouring areas: the Kru people from Liberia around 1600; the Senoufo and Lobi moved southward from Burkina Faso and Mali. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the Akan people, including the Baoulé, migrated from Ghana into the eastern area of the country, and the Malinké from Guinea into the north-west.

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Gbagbo administration

A presidential election was held in October 2000 in which Laurent Gbagbo Viedeň with Guéï, but it was peaceful. The lead-up to the election was marked by military and Civil Unrest. Guéï’s attempt to rig the election led to a public Uprising, resulting in around 180 deaths and his swift replacement by the election’s likely winner, Gbagbo. Alassane Ouattara what Disqualified by the country’s Supreme Court, due to his nationality Alleged Burkinabé. The existing constitution and later Reformed [underline Guei] did not allow non-citizens to run for presidency. This sparked violent protests in which his supporters, mainly from the country’s north, battled riot police in the capital, Yamoussoukro.

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Etymology

The country was originally known in English as Ivory Coast. In October 1985, the government requested that the country be known in every language as Côte d’Ivoire, without a hyphen between the two words (thereby contravening the standard rule in French that geographical names with several words must be written with hyphens).

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Grand Basamm

Fading colonial glory and long stretches of beach lined with hotels and seafood restaurants are the main attractions at this popular getaway. On the weekends visitors used to pack the hotels and beaches, but now most expats seek sun elsewhere.

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When to Go

A peaceful time to go is the cool, dry period from November to February, though shutterbugs will get much better photos in the rainy season from May to October. The tourist season tends to be from December to March and, to a lesser extent, the months of November and April.

Since the intercity roads are all sealed, the rains shouldn’t impede general travel too much; however, they will affect visits to beaches and national parks, especially the heaviest downpours in May, June and July. Come December the harmattan winds, blowing in from the Sahara, greatly reduce visibility.

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Yamoussoukro

The District of Yamoussoukro is the official capital city of Côte d’Ivoire. A city of 200,659 inhabitants as of 2005, and located 240 kilometres (149 mi) north of Abidjan on rolling hills and plains, the municipality covers 3,500 km² (1,351.3 sq mi) and is coterminous with the department of the same name. The department and municipality are further split into four sub-prefectures: Attiégouakro, Didiévi, Tié- diékro and the Commune of Yamoussoukro. The district, in total, contains contain 169 settlements.

The current governor of the district is N’Dri Koffi Apollinaire.

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