Ivory Coast. 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.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Provides most commonly used acronyms and abbreviations for Ivory Coast. Also includes location map, major cities, and country overview.
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 security forces.
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.
According to countryaah, the population of Ivory Coast in 2012 was 23,226,032, ranking number 56 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.500% yearly, and the population density was 73.0382 people per km2.