Ivory Coast. At the beginning of the year, the situation
in the conflict that split the Ivory Coast since 2002 seemed
completely locked. Even more surprising was the news in
March that the government and the rebels from the north had
made peace after mediating the government in neighboring
Burkina Faso. Former rebel leader Guillaume Soro was
appointed prime minister and formed a broad unity
government. Amnesty was declared retroactive for war crimes,
including rape. Only financial crimes were exempted.
In April, dismantling of the buffer zone that divided the
country began in the middle. UN troops and French soldiers
patrolling the zone began moving away and a joint government
and rebel force was stationed in the area. Human rights
groups raised alarms that the number of civilian assaults
increased dramatically following the retreat of foreign
CountryAAH, many judges were skeptical about the peace agreement
because the citizenship issue, which was the cause of the
unrest in the immigrant-dense country, was not resolved. The
difficult process of reviewing the right to citizenship and
handing out ID cards began in September. During the year,
the disarmament of the irregular armed forces also began.
The World Bank, which suspended lending to Ivory Coast in
2004, allocated US $ 100 million to the disarmament.
That there was suspicion of the peace agreement even
among the former rebels was shown when Guillaume Soro was
subjected to a murder attempt when he visited his own
fortress Bouaké in the north in June. Three rockets hit his
aircraft after landing.
In October, the UN Security Council extended sanctions on
the Ivory Coast for a year, but declared itself ready to
review the measures if free elections are held by April
2008. The sanctions mean that the Ivory Coast is not allowed
to buy weapons or export diamonds. Two leaders of the
presidential loyal force Young Patriots and a rebel
commander are not allowed to travel abroad and their
financial assets abroad are barred.
The Dutch company Trafigura Beheer BV paid almost US $
200 million in damages for the poisoning dump that killed up
to 16 Ivorians in 2006. The victims protested against the
low compensation they received after the state retained
about half the sum.
IVORY COAST - Yamoussoukro
Yamoussoukro, administrative capital of the Ivory Coast, 275 km northwest of
Abidjan; 207,000 residents (2015). Yamoussoukro, who was President
Houphouët-Boigny's birthplace, is the city of residence as well as the
headquarters of the country's only political party. In 1983 it was decided that
the capital functions should be moved from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro, but the
country's legislative assembly still meets in Abidjan. The business sector in
the city is dominated by the administration and the wood industry. In the city
is Notre-Dame de la Paix, which is the world's largest church.