*(Via CNN) – The west African country of Ivory Coast, also known as Cote d’Ivoire, has been rocked by civil conflict as forces loyal to opposition leader Alassan Ouattara seek to oust incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo after a disputed presidential election last November.
Most of the international community recognize Ouattara’s victory and are urging Gbagbo to go.
What’s the wider background to the unrest?
Ivory Coast, which won independence from France in 1960, is one of west Africa’s leading powers and, historically, had been one of its success stories.
It’s a young nation: 40% of its 21.5 million population are under the age of 14, while only 3% are older than 65.
During the late 1990s, Ivory Coast enjoyed an economic boom thanks to market liberalization and reform. Large numbers of economic immigrants flocked to the region to work in cash crop industries including coffee, palm oil, rubber and especially cocoa (Ivory Coast generates 40% of the world’s cocoa crop.)
But when the bubble burst, civil war followed, with economic migrants among the victims.
Read/learn MORE at CNN.
Watch this report of the fighting in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from Al Jazeera English: