Ivory Coast. According to
countryaah, the political and humanitarian situation in
Ivory Coast remained unstable in 2012, following last year's
civil war when at least 3,000 people lost their lives and at
least one million were forced to flee their homes.
Both the government side, with current president Alassane
Ouattara in the lead, and opposition leader Laurent Gbagbo
and his allies, have subsequently been charged with serious
crimes in connection with the civil war. Just days before
the December 2011 parliamentary elections, Gbagbo was
extradited to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The
Hague charged with four cases of humanity crimes.
Gbagbo had previously refused to admit defeat by Ouattara
in the 2010 presidential election - a fact that caused great
concern and was the trigger for the civil war that began in
the fall of that year and reached its peak in 2011. The
charge against Gbagbo was the first ever ICC brought against
a former head of state. Since Gbagbo was brought to court,
his defender has repeatedly asked him to be released, but
without results. In February 2012, the ICC expanded its
investigation into crimes during the civil war in 2010-11 to
cover crimes committed since the last civil war in 2002.
In March, the entire government resigned as a result of
the parliamentary elections the year before. Ouattara then
appointed a new government made up of the same ministers as
in the previous one, with the exception of Jeannot
Ahoussou-Kouadio of the second largest party PDCI (Ivory
Coast Democratic Party) who became new prime minister, and
Ouattara himself on the post of defense minister.
In June, thousands of people were forced to flee after
attacks on several villages near the city of Tai in the
southwest. In the same month, at least seven UN soldiers and
eight civilians were killed in the country. In connection
with the deed, the western neighboring Liberia closed its
border with the Ivory Coast, on suspicion that the
assailants had their base there. At the end of the month,
Liberia released about 40 people who were believed to have
links to various acts of violence in the Ivory Coast.
During the late summer and autumn, a number of attacks
again occurred, mainly aimed at damaging the country's
In August, a number of opposition politicians and former
employees were arrested for Gbagbo, and in September the
Ivorian government decided to close the border with Ghana
following an attack on the army in the border town of Noe.
The government even now suspected that the attacks were
carried out by supporters of the former president. The limit
was kept closed for two weeks.
The country's economy began to recover during the year
following a sharp decline the year before. The civil war had
led to, among other things, failed investments and that many
Ivorian companies and banks had been forced to close down.
The economy was also adversely affected by the fact that the
borders to other countries were kept closed during periods.
The Economic Cooperation Organization of the West African
Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) praised the country's
recovery and said it was important for the entire region.
In November, the President unexpectedly dissolved the
entire government after a brawl over a new marriage law,
which would make women more equal men. The bill was
supported by President Ouattara's party RDR (Republican
Assembly), but faced great opposition from other government
parties. The biggest was opposition from the Prime
Minister's Party, PDCI, who voted against the proposal.
At the end of the month, a new government was formed
under the leadership of former Foreign Minister Daniel
Kablan Duncan of PDCI. Gnénéma Mamadou Coulibaly from RDR
was appointed new Minister of Justice and several other
ministers came from business and banking. On the same day,
the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Simone Gbagbo, the wife
of the former president, who also stands accused of crimes
against humanity in connection with the post-2010 violence.
During New Year's Eve, riots erupted after a fireworks
show at a sports arena in Abidjan. In the congestion that
occurred when the crowd was leaving the arena, at least 60
people were killed and more than 200 injured, most children
and young people.