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Close ties to France since independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment made Cote d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the West African states but did not protect it from political turmoil. In December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Cote d'Ivoire's history - overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert GUEI blatantly rigged elections held in late 2000 and declared himself the winner. Popular protest forced him to step aside and brought Laurent GBAGBO into power. Ivorian dissidents and disaffected members of the military launched a failed coup attempt in September 2002. Rebel forces claimed the northern half of the country, and in January 2003 were granted ministerial positions in a unity government under the auspices of the Linas-Marcoussis Peace Accord. President GBAGBO and rebel forces resumed implementation of the peace accord in December 2003 after a three-month stalemate, but issues that sparked the civil war, such as land reform and grounds for citizenship, remained unresolved. In March 2007 President GBAGBO and former New Forces rebel leader Guillaume SORO signed the Ouagadougou Political Agreement. As a result of the agreement, SORO joined GBAGBO's government as Prime Minister and the two agreed to reunite the country by dismantling the zone of confidence separating North from South, integrate rebel forces into the national armed forces, and hold elections. Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of rebel forces have been problematic as rebels seek to enter the armed forces. Citizen identification and voter registration pose election difficulties, and balloting planned for November 2009 was postponed to 2010. On 28 November 2010, Alassane Dramane OUATTARA won the presidential election, defeating then President Laurent GBAGBO. GBAGBO refused to hand over power, resulting in a five-month stand-off. In April 2011, after widespread fighting, GBAGBO was formally forced from office by armed OUATTARA supporters with the help of UN and French forces. Several thousand UN peacekeepers and several hundred French troops remain in Cote d'Ivoire to support the transition process.


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Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia

Geographic coordinates
8 00 N, 5 00 W

Map references

Area World Ranking: 69
Total 322,463 sq km
Land 318,003 sq km
Water 4,460 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries
Total 3,110 km
Border countries
Burkina Faso 584 km, Ghana 668 km, Guinea 610 km, Liberia 716 km, Mali 532 km

515 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone 200 nm
Continental shelf 200 nm

Tropical along coast, semiarid in far north; three seasons - warm and dry (November to March), hot and dry (March to May), hot and wet (June to October)

Mostly flat to undulating plains; mountains in northwest

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Gulf of Guinea 0 m
Highest point Monts Nimba 1,752 m

Natural resources
Petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, hydropower

Land use
Arable land 10.23%
Permanent crops 11.16%
Other 78.61% (2005)

Irrigated land
730 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
81 cu km (2001)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 0.93 cu km/yr (24%/12%/65%)
Per capita 51 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards
Coast has heavy surf and no natural harbors; during the rainy season torrential flooding is possible

Environment - current issues
Deforestation (most of the country's forests - once the largest in West Africa - have been heavily logged); water pollution from sewage and industrial and agricultural effluents

Environment - international agreements
Party to
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
Signed, but not ratified
None of the selected agreements

Geography - note
Most of the inhabitants live along the sandy coastal region; apart from the capital area, the forested interior is sparsely populated


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Cote D Ivoire (Yamoussoukro):
Country Flag
Country Locator

GPS points from Cote D Ivoire (Yamoussoukro)

square Mbeoua Cote D Ivoire (general)

square Biangouine Cote D Ivoire (general)

square Pongo (iv21)

square Assaletiopo (iv59)

square Masara (iv25)

square Kadieoule-sourdian Cote D Ivoire (general)

square Dao Okoukro Cote D Ivoire (general)

square Ores-krobou (iv06)

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