Country flag

Country profile for Cote D'ivoire

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

Unselected
Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Amber (Moderate Risk)
Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

Unselected
Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: Yamoussoukro
  • Major Languages: French
  • Currency: West African CFA Franc
  • Timezone: GMT

Country Map

Map of Cote D'ivoire

Controversial elections in late-2020 coincided with a return to political and civil unrest in Cote d'Ivoire. President Alassane Ouattarra, who had previously vowed to only serve two terms in office, took the decision to stand for re-election following the death of his Rally of the Republicans (RDR) candidate, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, in July 2020. His candidacy sparked anti-government protests, which were led by the country's main opposition candidate, Henri Konan Bedie. Several opposition parties boycotted the vote before Ouattarra was announced the winner of the 31 October election with 94 percent. Another opposition leader, Pascal Affi Nguessan, was arrested on sedition charges after he announced the creation of a parallel government. Rights groups claimed that at least 50 people were killed during the political violence, and hundreds more were arrested.

The unrest was the worst reported in the country since the post-election conflict in 2010-11 that left more than 3,000 dead. That was sparked when incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to concede victory to the internationally recognised winner, Ouattara. Forces loyal to the two rivals were engaged in a series of battles throughout the country, before Gbagbo was captured in Abidjan in April, 2011. Gbagbo was acqutted of war crime charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and returned to the country following the 2020 election.

Levels of both petty and violent crime are high throughout Cote d’Ivoire, and foreign nationals are sometimes targeted. Pick pocketing and theft are common in large urban areas, such as Abidjan. Carjackings, armed robbery and banditry are serious concerns in rural parts of the country, particularly along the western border with Liberia and Guinea. There has been a significant proliferation of Islamic militant groups in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso. In May 2020 eight suspected militants were killed in a joint operation conducted by troops from Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

Road travel should only be undertaken during hours of daylight, and where possible, in convoys. Several armed robberies have also been reported on the A3 road between Abidjan and Yamoussoukro. In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of financial and internet-based crime in Cote d’Ivoire. These frauds include individuals posing as officials and demanding money, sometimes under the guise of a ‘visitor’s tax’.

Cote d'Ivoire is among a number of countries worldwide which have been hit by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The latest case figures can be viewed here.

News articles

By INSI

IN BRIEF: Ivory Coast as at 22/04/14

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises against all but essential travel to the western regions of Dix-Huit Montagnes, Haut-Sassandra, Moyen-Cavally and Bas-Sassandra regions of the Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), in particular the area to the west of Duékoué up to the border with Liberia. 

View all articles for Cote D'ivoire

Alerts for Cote D'ivoire

Officials report major offshore oil discovery

Energy Minister Thomas Camara has announced a major discovery of oil and natural gas off the coast of Cote d'Ivoire. The minister said between 1.5 and 2bn barrels of oil and 1.8-2.4tn cubic feet of gas was detected by the Italian firm Eni. He said the development would "greatly increase Ivory Coast's proven reserves in the coming years".

News channel condemned over rape demonstration

NCI TV has apologised after one of its programmes aired a scene with a man using a mannequin to simulate rape. The channel said the programme's host, Yves de M'Bella, has been suspended after 30,000 people signed a petition demanding that action was taken. During the segment, a former rapist was asked to demonstrate how he attacked his victims before offering advice on how to avoid being targeted. NCI’s management apologised on Tuesday, saying it was committed “to respecting human rights and in particular those of women”, and expressing its “solidarity with women who are victims of violence and abuse of all kinds”.

President Ouattara recovers from Covid-19

President Alassane Ouattara has recovered from Covid-19 and resumed his official duties. The president tested positive for the virus earlier this month, after which he went into self-isolating. There have been over 50,000 cases and 373 deaths in Cote d'Ivoire since the start of the pandemic.

WHO expresses concern over second Ebola case

The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed concern after a second suspected case of Ebola was detected in Cote d'Ivoire. WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said that as of Monday, there had been one confirmed and one suspected case, with nine contacts identified so far. The first case involved an 18-year-old woman who recently travelled from Guinea to Abidjan. Local health officials began a vaccination program in the Deux Plateaux neighbourhood of Abidjan in response to the outbreak.

Ebola case confirmed in Abidjan

Cote d'Ivoire has confirmed its first case of Ebola in 25 years. The health ministry said an 18-year-old girl who travelled to Abidjan from Guinea had tested positive for the virus. “The patient was admitted to a hospital after experiencing a fever and is currently receiving treatment,” said the World Health Ministry (WHO) in a statement.

President Ouattara in self-isolation after Covid contact

President Alassane Ouattara is self-isolating after he came into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. It could mean that he will not be able to take place in the country's Independence Day celebrations on 7 August. There have been over 50,000 confirmed cases and 332 deaths in Cote d'Ivoire.

President Ouattara meets rival in Abidjan

President Alassane Ouattara has held talks with former President Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan. The former rivals met at the presidential palace a decade after post-election violence left more than 3,000 people dead. “Cordial and fraternal meeting with my young brother Laurent Gbagbo. We will work to build confidence for the benefit of our country,” Ouattara posted on Twitter. Gbagbo recently returned to the country following his acquittal by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Former presidents unite against Ouattara

Two former presidents have announced that they are joining forces against current President Alassane Ouattara. His predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, and Henri Konan Bedie said they have united to deliver "definitive and durable peace" to Cote d'Ivoire. Gbagbo recently returned to the country after he was acquitted by the International Criminal Court over post-election violence in 2010.

Former PM given life term over coup plot

Former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro has been sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of plotting a coup against President Alassane Ouattara. The 49-year-old former rebel leader was sentenced in absentia, along with five of his supporters. Last year he was barred from running against Ouattara after he was convicted of money laundering.

Former President Gbagbo returns to Abidjan

Cote d'Ivoire's former president, Laurent Gbagbo, has returned to the country for the first time since he was ousted in 2011. The 76-year-old arrived in Abidjan on Thursday after ICC judges earlier this year upheld his 2019 acquittal on charges related to 2011 post-election violence. A large crowd gathered in the city to welcome the former president, although police barricaded the area surrounding the airport and tear gas was fired to disperse a small group of people.

Three military killed and four injured by IED near Burkina Faso border

Two soldiers and one police officer have been killed, and four injured, after their vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device. The incident took place in the north-east on the border with Burkina Faso. In a statement, Army chief of staff General Lassina Doumbia said that at 19:00 on Saturday a reconnaissance patrol "was the subject of a complex attack" and that "the detachment [...] was able to secure the area and provide assistance to the injured." The attack took place a week after another attack by suspected jihadists killed an Ivorian soldier in Tougbo. Experts have expressed concern over the spread of jihadist insurgency southwards to countries on the Gulf of Guinea.

Prime Minister Achi hospitalised in France

Prime Minister Patrick Achi has been hospitalised in France. The 65-year-old PM, who was appointed in March following the death of his predecessor, is being treated for "severe fatigue". He replaced Hamed Bakayoko, who died of cancer at 56.

Students attack taxi drivers in Tonpki region

A group of students attacked taxi drivers in the Tonpki region following a fatal accident. A driver killed a student and wounded two others before fleeing the scene in the city on Man. A group of protesting students threw stones at taxis and erected barricades at the entrance to the city.

Sixteen killed in bus crash on Ferké - Ouangolo axis

At least 16 people have been killed in a bus crash on the Ferké - Ouangolo axis. The incident occurred in the early hours of Thursday morning outside Nambonkaha. According to reports, the bus collided with a parked semi-trailer near a bridge.

Two soldiers and police officer killed in militant attacks

Two soldiers and a police officer have been killed after militants attacked two security posts near the border with Burkina Faso. Around 60 heavily armed gunmen crossed the border and stormed the posts in Kafolo in the early hours of Monday morning. Three assailants were killed in the exchange and four others were detained. Last June 13 Ivorian soldiers died in an attack on the same outpost.

President Ouattara names new prime minister

President Alassane Ouattara has named his close confidant Patrick Achi as prime minister. Friday's announcement came after the former prime minister, Hamed Bakayoko, died from cancer. The new government will be tasked with dealing with the social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Twenty killed in crash on Yamoussoukro-Bouaflé road

At least 20 people have been killed in a collision between a truck and a bus on the Yamoussoukro-Bouaflé road. Several others were wounded in the crash, which occurred on Wednesday night. Police said they are investigating the incident.

PM Bakayoko dies in Germany

Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko has died from cancer in Germany, according to the government. He had been receiving medical treatment in the city of Freiburg, and his death comes two days after his 56th birthday. Earlier this week President Alassane Ouattara named his chief of staff, Patrick Achi, as the country's interim prime minister and his brother, Tene Birahima Ouattara, as the interim defence minister. The president said Bakayoko was “a great statesman, a model for our youth, a personality of great generosity and exemplary loyalty”.

Patrick Achi named as interim PM

President Alassane Ouattara has named his chief of staff, Patrick Achi, as the country's interim prime minister. “State minister Patrick Achi will take over the functions of prime minister and head of government in an interim capacity,” the presidency said in a statement. The president's younger brother, Tene Birahima Ouattara, has been appointed interim defence minister. They both replace Hamed Bakayoko, who is currently in Europe where he is receiving medical treatment for an unspecified condition.

Vaccines arrive under COVAX scheme

Cote d'Ivoire has received its first dose of coronavirus vaccines as part of the COVAX scheme. The 504,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Abidjan on Friday from the Serum Institute of India. This is the second delivery under the COVAX scheme; earlier this week Ghana received its first shipment.

Cocoa industry firms in child slavery lawsuit

Nestlé, Mars, Hershey and Mondelēz are among defendants in a DC filed lawsuit by the International Rights Advocates (IRA) on behalf of eight former child slaves in Côte d'Ivoire. It is alleged that the plaintiffs were forced to work unpaid on cocoa plantations, and accuse the corporations of aiding and abetting the illegal enslavement of minors on cocoa farms in their supply chains. The class-action suit filed in a US court is unprecedented in the cocoa industry.

Opposition candidate calls for national dialogue

Former president and main opposition candidate Henri Konan Bedie has called for a "national dialogue" to resolve the political tension in Cote d'Ivoire. Bedie said he was ending the transitional regime that the opposition created following the presidential election at the end of October. Incumbent President Alassane Ouattara was re-elected for a controversial third term in the vote.

Former President Gbagbo expected to return to Cote D'Ivoire

Former President Laurent Gbagbo could return to the Ivory Coast after being acquitted of war crime charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC). President Alassane Ouattara issued passports to Gbagbo to allow him to return to the country by the end of the year. Gbagbo left office in 2011 after violence broke out in the country, killing more than 3,000 people. Cote D'Ivoire held its presidential election in October, where President Ouattara was re-elected for a third term in office.

President meets rival for peace talks

President Alassane Ouattara has met with his rival, Henri Konan Bedie, to discuss how to restore peace following the disputed election. The two men described their conversation in Abidjan as an "ice-breaker" and vowed to hold further talks. At least 85 people have been killed in violence linked to the election, which the opposition boycotted and have refused to recognise, claiming that Ouattara's bid for a third term was illegal.

Three killed in post-election violence

At least three people were killed and dozens wounded in post-election violence on Tuesday. The unrest was reported in the town of M'Batto, a stronghold of opposition candidate Pascal Affi N'Guessan. On Friday police arrested N'Guessan and charged him with terrorism and sedition after he and other members of the opposition announced the formation of a parallel government.

Several wounded in Daoukro clashes

Several people have been wounded during clashes between rival protesters in Daoukro. Local hospital officials said the confrontation took place in the Sossoridougou district when the two groups encountered each other. Local shops and business were forced to close and barricades were erected in several neighbourhoods. Tensions remain high across the country following the disputed presidential elections, which were won by incumbent Alassane Ouattara.

Final results confirm Ouattara's re-election

President Alassane Ouattara's victory in last month's presidential election has been confirmed by the constitutional court. The constitutional council president Mamadou Kone confirmed last week's provisional results, adding that Ouattara won 94.27 percent of the vote. The election was boycotted by the opposition, who said that the president's bid was illegal. The UNHCR said 3,600 people have fled into neighbouring Liberia due to fears over post-election violence.

Opposition leader arrested for sedition

Opposition leader Pascal Affi Nguessan has been arrested on sedition charges. The former prime minister was detained in the town of Akoupe after he announced the creation of a parallel government. Nguessan and other opposition leaders boycotted last month's presidential election, claiming that President Alassane Ouattara violated the constitution by running for a third term.

Former rebel leader calls for army to mutiny

Former rebel leader Guillaume Soro has called on the military to mutiny and support the opposition. Soro, who is also a former prime minister, made the request following the disputed presidential election, which was boycotted by the opposition. “Turning now to our security and Defence forces … I’m asking you to disobey illegal orders and join the national transitional council,” he said. “We cannot, out of fear, allow dictatorship in Ivory Coast by Alassane Ouattara.” On Wednesday police surrounded the houses of two senior opposition leaders after they announced plans to form a parallel administration.

President Ouattara wins third term in controversial vote

President Alassane Ouattara has been elected for a third term after winning 94 percent of the vote. Cote d'Ivoire's electoral commission said turnout was 54 percent, although the result still has to be confirmed by the Constitutional Council. The opposition boycotted the vote, claiming that Ouattara should not have been allowed to run for a third term. On Monday members of the opposition announced that it was creating a transitional government and would organise fresh elections in the country.

Voting underway in Cote d'Ivoire elections

Voting started on Saturday in Cote d'Ivoire's controversial presidential election. Polling stations will close at 18:00 local time, with results expected within the next five days. The main opposition candidates, Pascal Affi N'Guessan and Henri Konan Bédié, are boycotting the election and have called for disobedience after claiming that President Alassane Ouattara's bid for a third term is illegal. Some protests were reported in opposition strongholds on Saturday.

Protests erupt ahead of the presidential election in Cote D'Ivoire

Civil unrest is brewing in the Cote D'Ivoire ahead of the presidential elections on Saturday. Major opposition parties have already confirmed that they will boycott the vote on Saturday. AP reported that opposition members have been called to block access to polling stations to prevent the vote from proceeding. Dozens of people have been killed in the weeks leading up to the election, in which President Alassane Ouattara seeks a third term in office. In the last presidential vote in 2015, President Ouattara secured 84 percent of the votes. Protests are expected to intensify over the weekend. People in the country are advised to exercise extreme caution and to avoid large gatherings.

Six killed in Dabou clashes

At least six people have been killed and 40 others wounded in clashes in the port city of Dabou. A curfew has been imposed in the city in response to the violence. Mayor Jean-Claude Niangne accused armed men linked to exiled opposition leader Guillaume Soro of carrying out the attacks, although lawmaker Ben Souk Sess, who is in exile in Mali, claimed that Niangne was behind the violence. The unrest comes ahead of elections at the end of October, where incumbent President Alassane Ouattara is seeking a controversial third term.

House of former PM torched during clashes

The house of former Prime Minister Pascal Affi Nguessan has been torched during clashes in Bongouanou. A school in the town was also destroyed in the unrest, which comes less than two weeks before elections are due to take place in the country. Nguessan recently called for a campaign of "civil disobedience" and said he would boycott the vote. President Alassane Ouattara is running for a third term in office after his potential successor, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died of a heart attack.

Protests break out ahead of presidential vote in late-October

Violent demonstrations have been reported in Cote d'Ivoire as campaigning for the presidential election kicks off. Cote d'Ivoire will face its presidential vote on 31 October, where President Alassane Ouattara is running for a third term in office. Four candidates will take part in the vote, including former President Henri Konan Bedie, Kouadio Konan Bertin and Pascal Affi N'Guessan. In the run for the elections, more than 40 candidates were banned from participating. Political tensions in the country remain high since President Ouattara decided to run for another term. The decision was announced just after the sudden death of Prime Minister Amadou Coulibaly last July.

Opposition calls for anti-government protests

Opposition parties have called for a campaign of civil disobedience to protest against President Alassane Ouattara's bid for a third term. Former President Henri Konan Bedie said the opposition had agreed to unite in its efforts to defeat Ouattara in next month's election. "It is left to us, in light of everything that has been said here, to protect the stability of the nation," Bedie said. "In the face of abuse of authority, there is only one watchword: civil disobedience." Bedie, 86, is one of only four politicians still in the running for the presidency after the electoral commission excluded 40 other would-be candidates, including former President Laurent Gbagbo and onetime rebel leader and former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro.

Constitutional council approves President Ouattara's re-election bid

Cote d'Ivoire's constitutional council has approved President Alassane Ouattara's bid to seek a third term in office. The council also barred former President Laurent Gbagbo and former rebel leader Guillaume Soro from standing. The other candidates cleared were former president Henri Konan Bedie from the PDCI party, former prime minister Pascal Affi N'Guessan and Kouadio Konan Bertin. There have been violent protests across the country in recent days in response to Ouattara's bid, with clashes reported in the Youpougon district of Abidjan.

Former President Gbagbo's supporters file for his election candidacy

Supporters of the exiled former President Lauren Gbagbo have filed a candidacy on his behalf for the upcoming presidential election in October. Earlier this week, the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) removed Gbagbo from the list of candidates due to a 20-year-sentence. In addition to Gbagbo, three other candidates were also banned from running for office. Gbagbo led the country during a brief civil war which broke out in 2010 when he refused to concede power.

President Ouattara chosen to run for third-term in October

The ruling Houphouetist Rally for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) has announced the nomination of President Alassane Ouattara to run for office in the upcoming vote in October. President Ouattara is seeking a third term in office despite initial claims that he would step down. The decision is believed to be linked to the sudden death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly in July. A massive crowd attended an RHDP rally in Abidjan where Ouattara's nomination was announced. Ouattara's bid comes just after the Central Electoral Commission (CEI) rejected an appeal that would allow former President Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) to run for office.

Hamed Bakayoko nominated as new PM

President Alassane Ouattara has nominated Hamed Bakayoko as the country's new prime minister. Bakayoko is replacing Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who died earlier this month. After announcing Coulibaly's replacement, President Ouattara confirmed that he will run for a third term in office. Cote d'Ivoire will hold its presidential elections in late-October. Members of the opposition Democratic Party of the Ivory Coast (PDCI) have previously called for the delay of the elections after they accused the country's Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) of lacking credibility.

VP Kablan resigns on personal grounds

Cote d'Ivoire's Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan has resigned on "personal grounds." The announcement comes less than a week after the death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who was due to stand for the presidency in October's election. "After several conversations, the latest of which took place on July 7, the president accepted (it) and on July 8 signed the decree ending Mr Kablan Duncan's duties," announced chief of staff Patrick Achi.

President Ouattara considering third term run

President Alassane Ouattara is considering running for a third term in office following the death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly. "All options are on the table, including a new candidacy for President Ouattara," the ruling party's executive director, Adama Bictogo, told the AFP. There will be eight days of national mourning following Coulibaly's death earlier this week. He was set to be the ruling RDHP candidate in October's presidential election.

Prime Minister dies after falling ill at cabinet meeting

Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly has died after falling ill at a cabinet meeting. He had recently returned from France where he had been receiving treatment for a heart condition. President Alassane Ouattara said the country was in mourning. Coulibaly had been nominated as the ruling party's candidate in the presidential elections in October after Ouattara said he would not seek a third term.

Seven killed by flooding in Abidjan

At least seven people have been killed by flash flooding in Abidjan. There has been torrential rain in the city and meteorologists warned of further downpours over the weekend. The flooding comes less than two weeks after 13 people were killed by a landslide in the city.

Dozens killed in Abidjan mudslides

At least 13 people have been killed and dozens more are missing after mudslides hit a residential area in Abidjan. More than 20 house were swept away following days of torrential rain in the area. Local residents and rescue workers are trying to search for people trapped in the mud. "The toll could get higher with ongoing search. We could have at least 20 dead as a result of the landslides because there are still a lot of houses to explore," said Amidou Sylla, the mayor of Anyama.

Eight jihadists killed near Cote d'Ivoire border

Eight suspected jihadists have been killed in a joint operation conducted by troops from Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso. More than 30 militants were also detained during the operation. Burkina Faso said 13 militants were killed in a separate clash in the northern province of Soum.

Presidential candidate Soro jailed for 20 years

Former rebel leader and presidential candidate Guillaume Soro has been jailed for 20 years. He was convicted in absentia on embezzlement charges and is expected to be excluded from running in the elections in October. Soro denies the charged and said they are intended to stop him from running against Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly. He is also expected to be charged over allegations that he was plotting a coup against President Alassane Ouattara.

Health workers angry at lack of equipment

Health workers are threatening to reduce their working hours due to a lack of equipment to deal with the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19). Health unions have given the government a 72-hour ultimatum to address their concerns. In response, the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene issued a statement that said that materials and equipment have already been ordered and will be provided to staff in the coming days.

First case of coronavirus confirmed

The government has confirmed its first case of coronavirus (Covid-19). The patient is a 45-year-old Ivorian man who recently travelled to Italy. He tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, according to the country's health ministry. The authorities are tracking the people he recently came into contact with as they attempt to curb the spread of the virus.

President Ouattara says he won't run for third term

President Alassane Ouattara said he will not stand for re-election in October. The announcement ends months of speculation about his future, despite constitutional term limits being in place. "I have decided not to be candidate in the Oct. 31 presidential election and to transfer power to a new generation," Ouattara said in a speech in Yamoussoukro. He took office in 2011 following the civil war which was sparked when his predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to concede defeat.

Suspect shot dead by police, Akouedo

A suspected robber has been shot dead by police in the Akouedo suburb of Abidjan. Two suspects attempted to rob a supermarket on Saturday when police were deployed to the scene, leading to a shootout. The second suspect was detained by officers in the Yopougon area.

Former rebel leader to run for leader

A former rebel leader has said that he will stand in next year's presidential election. Guillaume Soro, 47, launched his own political movement earlier this year after he fell out with President Alassane Ouattara and resigned as parliament speaker. "There are some pro-Soro parties that have chosen me as their candidate,” he said in an online broadcast. Ouattara has said that he might seek re-election after the consitution was changed in 2016.

Spanish woman killed in bus crash

A Spanish woman has been killed and 10 Spanish girls wounded in a bus crash in Cote d'Ivoire. The group were travelling on a school trip from Barcelona when the accident happened. The girls have been transferred to Abidjan for treatment.

Eighteen arrested following inter-communal violence

The Ivorian security forces have arrested eighteen people following inter-communal violence in mid-May. "Following these events (intercommunal violence of Béoumi) occurred on May 15, 16 and 17, 2019, the public prosecutor opened an investigation to the gendarmerie brigade research section of Bouaké," said prosecutor  Braman Koné. At least 11 people died and more than 100 were wounded in the fighting.

Lebanese national kidnapped in Cote d'Ivoire

A Lebanese national has been kidnapped by armed men in Abidjan. Ashraf Rida Shour was seized in the Abobo suburb after criminals broke into his bakery and took him to an unknown location. The vehicle used in the attack was later found abandoned Agboville. A search for the victim is underway.

Parliament speaker Soro resigns

Guillaume Soro, the speaker of Cote d'Ivoire's National Assembly, has announced his resignation. The 46-year-old former rebel leader is believed to have quit in order to run in next year's presidential elections. "The time has come for me to follow my convictions and my moral values,” said Soro in a speech on Friday.

MP jailed for spreading fake news

MP Alain Lobognon has been sentenced to one year in prison and fined $520 for spreading false news and inciting violence. He was arrested after tweeting that the chief prosecutor was going to arrest another lawmaker, which sparked demonstrations. Lobognon's lawyer said he would appeal the verdict, which he said was politically motivated.

Former President Gbagbo acquitted by ICC

Cote d'Ivoire's former president, Laurent Gbagbo, has been acquitted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). He was charged with crimes against humanity in connection with the post-election violence in 2010-2011, during which 3,000 people were killed. He was captured by UN and French troops, which supported his rival Alassane Ouattara, in a presidential bunker. "The acquittal of Gbagbo and Blé Goudé [former youth minister] will be seen as a crushing disappointment to victims of post-election violence in Cote d’Ivoire. However, the judges found that the Office of the Prosecutor had not presented evidence needed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt," said Marie-Evelyne Petrus Barry, Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa Director.

Four killed in election violence

At least four people have been killed in violence following the municipal elections in Cote d'Ivoire. Several others were also wounded when police clashed with local residents demanding the release of election results in the Grand-Bassam area, near Abidjan. Tensions remain high as the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is yet to confirm the results, while several candidates have already declared victory.

Rival supporters clash in Mona

Several people have been wounded in clashes between rival election candidates in Monam near Guiglo. The violence came as supporters of candidate Gui Herve Serode and people linked to the outgoing mayor, Benoit Severin Baillet. The incident comes ahead of local elections on 13 October, with the results expected to released next week.

Protest underway near US embassy, Abidjan

A protest is currently underway near the US embassy in Abidjan. Demonstrators have built roadblocks and set fires along the Boulevard to France, according to the US State Department. Travellers are being advised to avoid the area.

Five killed in northern highway bus crash

At least five people have been killed and almost 80 others wounded in a bus crash on the northern highway. The bus veered off the road and overturned on the PK218 on Monday. The wounded were transported to the Yamoussoukro Regional University Center (RHC) for treatment. The cause of the crash is being investigated.

Opposition calls for local elections to be postponed

The Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) has called for the local elections in October to be postponed. The statement comes a week after the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) also requested a postponement until the Independent Electoral Commission is reformed. “The FPI, mindful of the need to safeguard peace (…) demands the unconditional postponement of the local elections of October 13, 2018 and the immediate opening of inclusive discussions for the reform and establishment of a consensual IEC," said the party in a statement.

Former first lady granted amnesty

Cote d'Ivoire's former first lady Simone Gbagbo has been granted amnesty by the country's president. Mrs Gbagbo was jailed for 20 years in 2015 for her role in the post-election violence after the disputed vote in 2010, during which more than 3,000 people were killed. President Alassane Ouattara pardoned more than 800 people in a bid to bring "peace and real reconciliation" to the country. Simone's husband and Ouattara's predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, remains on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.

President Ouattara launches new coalition party

President Alassane Ouattara has said on Monday that he is not seeking re-election ahead of the 2020 presidential vote - although he is clear to run for a third term. The announcement came during the launching ceremony of the Houphouetists Rally for Democracy and Peace (RHDP), which became a formal party. RHDP will be a coalition comprised of the Ouattara's Rally of Republicans (RDR) and the Union for Democracy and Peace (UDPCI). However, coalition partner Democratic Party (PDCI), led by former President Henri Konan Bedie, refused to merge with the others.

French military helicopter crashes in Abijan

A French soldier has been killed and another wounded after a military helicopter crashed near Abidjan. The Aérospatiale Gazelle helicopter came down in the village of Modeste on Tuesday afternoon. French Accident Investigation Bureau of the transport ministry (AIBTM) is investigating the site to determine the cause of the crash.

Abidjan hit by deadly flooding

At least 17 people have been killed after heavy rain caused widespread flooding in Abidjan. The government said 115 were rescued by the security forces during the night, with water levels rising to 2.5m in some parts of the city. Many roads have been made impassable, particularly in the Palmerais, Riviera2, Bingerville, Zoo, Adjame and Banco areas.

Several killed as bus drives off a ravine near Abidjan

At least nine people have been killed in a bus accident in Azaguie, on the outskirts of Abidjan. According to local media, the driver of the inter-urban microbus lost control of the vehicle before falling into a ravine. Bus accidents are common in Cote d'Ivoire. They are mainly attributed to reckless driving.

President Ouattara claims to be cleared to run for third presidential term

President Alassane Ouattara has claimed on Saturday that he is cleared to run for a third term in office in the upcoming 2020 presidential vote. During an interview to French media, President Ouattara said: “The new constitution authorizes me to serve two terms starting in 2020. I will only make a definitive decision then, based on the situation in Ivory Coast. Stability and peace come before all else, including my principles." The constitution was widely approved back in 2016 despite an opposition boycott. Ouattara was first elected in 2010, triggering a brief civil war in Cote d'Ivoire.

Ruling coalition wins Senate vote

Cote d'Ivoire's ruling coalition has won the country's Senate vote, which was boycotted by the opposition. The Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) coalition won 50 out of the 66 seats, according to the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI). The opposition said they would no longer recognise the legitimacy of the CEI, who they claim is acting for the interests of President Alassane Ouattara.

Security forces block opposition march

Riot police fired tear gas at anti-government protesters in Abidjan on Thursday. The security forces blocked the march by the opposition Together for Democracy and Sovereignty (EDS), who have accused the electoral commission of political bias. Several people were arrested during the unrest, which comes ahead of senatorial elections on Saturday. "In a democratic country we have the right to protest, to express our unhappiness by way of a peaceful and democratic march," said EDS president Georges Armand Ouegnin.

One killed and several injured during armed robbery in Boauke

One person has been killed and 10 others injured during an armed robbery in Bouake, central Ivory Coast. The incident happened on Monday when an assailant armed with an assault rifle targeted a cashew nut buyer at a local market. The victim had just withdrawn the equivalent of €30k from a bank. Reports revealed that criminals followed the victim and opened fire before escaping.

Police officer beaten to death in Blolequin

A police officer has reportedly been beaten to death after an angry mob took to the streets in Blolequin, south-western Cote d'Ivoire. RFI reported that tensions erupted when a motorcyclist was killed due to unknown motives after he was ordered to stop at a police checkpoint. Crowds erected barricades and attacked the local police station to demand an explanation for the driver's death. Tensions later came to a halt when additional riot police were deployed to the region.

Two killed in Goh robbery

Two people have been killed during a robbery in the Goh region of Cote d'Ivoire. Gunmen stole laptops, mobile phone and cash during a raid on a cybercafe at Siriki Kone college in Gagnoa. There has been an increase in violent crimes in Gagnoa recently; earlier this month a driving instructor was shot dead in the Zapata district.

Parliament speaker's aide detained over links to army mutiny

The influential aide for the parliament speaker, Souleymane Kamarate Kone, has been detained over links to an army mutiny in early-May. Prosecutors said that Kone is accused of possessing and distributing weapons to suppress government troops from reaching a four-day uprising that erupted in Bouake, north-western Cote D'Ivoire. Kone, a powerful former rebel leader, was accused of stashing a cache of weapons and ammunition aimed to 'destabilise the state'. Kone's supporters claim that the accusations are widely political motivated, while some believe that such political altercation may be a potential move ahead of the 2020 elections, where Kone is considered as one of the main candidates against the ruling Rally of the Republicans (RDR).

Gunfire erupts at police bases, Abidjan

Gunfire was reported at several police bases across Abidjan late on Wednesday.  Residents reported shootings in the Cocody and Yopougon neighbourhoods of the city at around 21:30. The unrest erupted hours after President Alassane Ouattara dismissed his defence minister and replaced him with the minister of the interior. There have been several mutinies by various members of the security forces in Cote d'Ivoire in recent months.

Police officers kill five civilians in Arrah

Security forces killed six civilians during a police operation to locate robbers in Arrah, south-eastern Cote D'Ivoire. Judicial authorities revealed that the police officers mistook five funeral workers as robbers, opening fire on the group when they were en route from a service in the capital Abidjan. Another civilian was also killed by a stray bullet during the shooting. Five officers were arrested.

Soldiers agree to end mutiny

Soldiers in Cote d'Ivoire have agreed a deal with the government which will end a nationwide mutiny.  The government offered immediate payments of five million CFA francs ($8,400) with an additional two million CFA payment due at the end of June.  The deal comes after days of unrest across the country, which was sparked when a spokesman for the soldiers apologised for the previous mutiny and renounced all claims to the outstanding bonus payments.

Mutiny spreads to San Pedro

Gunfire has erupted at a military camp in the port city of San Pedro, following earlier unrest in Abidjan and Bouake.  Schools, banks and other business have been forced to close amid fears that the standoff between the armed forces and mutineer soldiers could escalate.  On Sunday six people were wounded by gunfire in Bouake, while on Saturday one person was killed.  The army has launched an operation to restore order in the affected cities; however, the soldiers involved in the mutiny are refusing to lay down their weapons until their outstanding bonuses are paid.

Soldier mutiny continues in Cote d'Ivoire

Gunfire has been reported in Cote d'Ivoire's two main cities - Abidjan and Bouake - as mutineer soldiers continue to demand bonus payments.  The troops returned to the streets on Friday after a spokesman claiming to represent them dropped the demands and apologised to the president for the earlier mutiny.  Negotiations were held on Sunday and the armed forces' chief of staff General Sékou Touré claimed the soldiers had stood down; however, some are continuing to disobey orders.

Gunfire erupts in northern city of Bouake

Gunfire has been reported at a military barracks in the northern city of Bouake, the location of January's mutiny.   Local residents in the town of Odienne also reported that soldiers fired shots and sealed off surrounding roads on Friday. The shooting occurred shortly after a spokesman for 8,400 former rebels appeared on television to apologise for the mutiny. "We apologise for the various situations we know we have caused. We definitively renounce all our financial demands," said Sergeant Fofana.

Hundreds of former rebels erect roadblock in Bouake

Hundreds of former rebel fighters erected road blockades around Bouake to demand the payment of bonuses and other benefits from the government. The main road to Abidjan and Yamoussoukro was completely blocked. The group which has been demobilised since the end of the civil war in 2011, demanded further integration into the country's military and institutions. 

Journalists march for International Press Freedom Day

Ivorian journalists have held a rally in Abidjan to mark International Press Freedom Day.  The event comes weeks after six journalists were arrested in the country and held for 72 hours for "disclosing false information".  Minister of Communication Bruno Kone said the government was committed to providing an environment conducive to press freedom.

Special forces mutiny over pay in Adiake

Members of the special forces have mutinied over pay in the south-eastern town of Adiake, close to the border with Ghana.  "There is shooting all over the place. I closed my shop," local resident Mariame Coulibaly told the AFP on Tuesday.  The incident comes a month after deadly protests by other members of the security forces, which ended when the government agreed to pay additional bonuses to 8,500 troops.

Two soldiers dead in fresh unrest

Two soldiers were killed on Tuesday in another outbreak of unrest in Cote d'Ivoire.  Gunfire was reported in several cities, including the capital, Yamoussoukro, where the two soldiers were killed at a camp for the Republican Guard.  The unrest started hours after the government began paying bonuses to former rebel fighters who led a mutiny earlier this month; however, some troops were excluded from the deal.  "We don't understand why some soldiers are being paid a five million CFA franc bonus, while a whole other group is being forgotten," a protesting soldier told the AFP.

President Ouattara sacks security chiefs

Cote d'Ivoire's president, Alassane Ouattara, has sacked the country's security chiefs following the two-day army mutiny.  General Soumaila Bakayoko, the army chief; Gervais Kouakou Kouassi, superior commander of the National Gendarmerie; and Bredou M'Bia, director-general of the National Police have all been dismissed with immediate effect.  On Friday disgruntled soldiers seized control of the country's second largest city, Bouake, to demand bonus payments and wage increases.  The unrest then spread to other parts of the country, including Abidjan, before Ouattara announced that a settlement had been reached in a statement on Saturday night.

PM resigns and dissolves government

Cote d'Ivoire's prime minister, Daniel Kablan Duncan, has resigned and dissolved the government following last month's parliamentary elections.  "I have tendered my resignation and that of the government," he said at the Presidential palace after a meeting with President Alassane Ouattara.  The announcement was expected to take place last week but was delayed by the short-lived mutiny by members of the armed forces.

Former soldiers take up positions in Bouake

Former soldiers have raided police stations, seized weapons and taken up positions in the central city of Bouake. Heavy gunfire erupted in the city at around 02:00 on Friday morning, according to local residents.  "The city is under the control of former (soldiers)," an army officer told Reuters. "There are many of them at the north and south entrances to the city. We are on alert and await instructions from the hierarchy." Additional troops have been deployed to the city, the second largest in Cote d'Ivoire.  Gunfire has also been reported in the western town of Daloa.

Four killed as police clash with villagers in north-east

Two police officers and two villagers have been killed in clashes in a remote village in north-eastern Cote d'Ivoire.  The incident happened in the village of Neamoue, 70 km from Bouna, on Wednesday.  It is not yet clear what caused the violence, which comes a month after police in the city of Katiola were transferred after their actions sparked riots.

Referendum scheduled for 30 October

On 30 October, 2016, the Cote D'Ivoire will hold a referendum on a new constitution. Legislative elections are also expected before the end of the year. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises travellers to remain vigilant and to avoid political protests and demonstrations. They also advise that those in the country monitor local media for any updates. 

Dozens arrested during student protest in Abidjan

Nearly three dozen students were arrested during protests at the Felix Houphouet-Bigny University in the capital Abidjan on Monday. The protest, led by the Student Federation of Cote D'Ivoire (FESCI), called for better education standards in the country. Police told the RFI that security forces intervened in the week-long demonstration once the group was disturbing public order. The student association, however, stated that they were staging a sit-in protest and that dozens were injured during the police offensive. The country's Interior Ministry said that three police officers were also wounded during the clashes.

Hundreds of UNOCI employees protest over allowance payments

Hundreds of local employees from the United Nations Mission in Ivory Coast (UNOCI) protested on the streets of the capital, Abidjan, and Bouake on Friday. The demonstrators demanded the payment of their allowances as compensation for their non-renewable contracts with the organization. A UNOCI spokesperson said that the claims are not stipulated in their contracts and are not part of the accorded conditions. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, announced that due to the favorable political and security climate within the country, the mission will be permanently closed in June 2017. 

Former first lady on trial for crimes against humanity

The first lady of former President Laurent Gbagbo is set to face her second trial in Abidjan over war crimes and crimes against humanity. Simone Gbagbo was previously sentenced in March to 20 years in prison over her involvement in post-election violence in 2010, when her husband refused to cede power to current president Alassane Ouattara and an estimated 3,000 people were killed across the country. Three rights groups representing nearly 250 victims said they would refuse to take part in the trial after saying the proceedings are flawed.

Nineteen killed in clashes in Bouna

Clashes between arable farmers and nomadic herdsmen has left 19 people dead in north-eastern Cote d'Ivoire. According to local sources, the clashes broke out when ethnic Lobi farmers accused Fulani herders of negligence after cattle devastated their plantations. Besides the fatalities at least 40 people were injured in the outbreak of violence. United Nations (UN) forces and the Ivorian Army reinforced their presence in the region, while Mariatou Kone, the country's minister of social cohesion, said the conflict has displaced more than 3,000 people from the herding community.

AQIM claim Grand Bassam attacks

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack on the resort of Grand Bassam, which left 16 people dead.  Six gunmen opened fire on civilians outside the Etoile de Sud hotel, killing 14 civilians and two special forces solders.  Officials later confirmed that the assailants have been "neutralised".  AQIM also carried out the recent deadly attacks on luxury hotels in Bamako, Mali and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Deadly shooting at Grand-Bassam beach resort

At least 16 people have been killed and several others wounded in a shooting at the Grand-Bassam beach resort in south-eastern Cote d'Ivoire.  Initial reports suggest that four gunmen carried out the attack on two hotels on Sunday afternoon.  The resort, which is popular with tourists, is located around 40km east of the capital, Abidjan.  The identity of the assailants has not yet been confirmed.

Ten killed in attempted prison break

Nine prisoners and a guard have been killed in an attempted prison break in the main commercial city of Abidjan.  A riot erupted at the MACA prison on Saturday when prisoners armed with Kalashnikovs attacked guards during an attempted escape.  Notorious prisoner Coulibaly Yacouba, also known as "Yacou le Chinois", was among those killed in the riot.

Seven soldiers killed in attacks on army camps

Seven Ivorian soldiers have been killed in two attacks on army camps near the Liberian border.  Gunmen targeted the camps near the town of Grabo, said defense minister Paul Koffi Koffi.  The security forces later detained eight people in connection with the attack, including three people from Burkina Faso and one from Togo.

President Ouattara re-elected by a landslide

Alassane Ouattara has won a second five-year term as president of Cote d'Ivoire after winning almost 84 percent of the vote.  The 73-year-old unseated former leader Laurent Gbagbo in 2010's elections, sparking five months of violence which left more than 3,000 people dead.  International observers declared the latest vote free and fair, although turnout was only around 55 percent.

Ivorian and UNOCI soldiers mobilised to secure upcoming election

On September 14, the Ivorian Independent Election Commission announced that 34,000 soldiers will be mobilised from October 1 to secure the presidential elections scheduled for October 25. 28,000 Ivorian soldiers will work alongside 6,000 UNOCI Peacekeepers, from the United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire. This announcement comes three days after opposition-led violence broke out in several towns, leaving one person dead.

Deadly clashes erupt in western Cote d'Ivoire

At least one person had died as protests erupted across Gagnoa in western Cote d'Ivore.  The unrest was sparked after the Constitutional Council released the official list of 10 candidates for next month's presidential election, including incumbent Alassane Ouattara.  The fatality was reported in the village of Logouata after clashes between rival armed groups, while a number of people were wounded in similar unrest in the town of Sinfra.

Lebanese man shot dead in Cote d'Ivoire

A Lebanese expatriate was shot dead in the capital, Abidjan on Monday. Reports say that gunmen opened up on Mahmoud Atef Ghazal, 40, in his car as he pulled up at a stop light, before stealing a large sum of money that he was transporting. 

Police clash with protesters over plastics ban

Cote d'Ivoire police have clashed with protesters during a rally in the country's largest city, Abidjan.  The demonstration was organised by the water sellers' union who are angry at a government ban on plastic bags, which are widely used to package water.  The head of the union, Gervais Ekoun, said "we don't want to die of hunger" after the ban threatened the livelihood of thousands of traders and their families.

Soldiers protest over unpaid benefits

Former rebel fighters now serving in Cote d'Ivoire's army have staged protests in several towns and cities over unpaid bonuses and benefits.  The country's defence minister Paul Koffi Koffi has ordered the troops to return to their barracks, promising that he will address their grievances.  The soldiers fought for rebels groups in support of current President Alassane Ouattara back in 2011.

Suspected Liberian gunmen killed eight in western Cote d'Ivoire

At least eight people have been killed after suspected Liberian gunmen crossed the border and attacked a village in western Cote d'Ivoire.  Around 2,500 people have fled to the nearby town of Grabo following the raid, while FRCI (Ivorian army) troops have launched a counter-attack operation.  Gunmen from Liberia have carried out several cross-border raids in recent years, which the government and the UN have blamed on allies of ousted former president, Laurent Gbagbo.

Post election violence erupts in Abidjan

Protests have been reported in several districts of Abidjan following the announcement of local election results in the city.  The clashes involved supporters of different political candidates, with many people complaining of vote rigging.

Cote D'ivoire Data Sheet

Population:
20.6 million
Major Religion/s:
Islam, Christianity
International dialing code:
+225
International dialing prefix:
00
Emergency services:
Police 180, Fire 111
Drives:
Right
Voltage:
220V
Climate:
Tropical
Ohter Major Cities:
Abidjan
Borders:
Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana