TIMELINE-Ivory Coast’s troubled decade

Dec 25 (BestGrowthStock) – A bitter power struggle following a
disputed presidential election has killed nearly 200 people and
risks plunging Ivory Coast back into conflict.

Leaders from West African regional bloc ECOWAS on Friday
threatened to use force if incumbent Laurent Gbagbo does not
cede power to rival presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara.

Here are key dates in a troubled decade for the world’s top
cocoa grower and one-time economic star of West Africa:

October 2000 – Laurent Gbagbo is proclaimed president after
disputed elections from which Alassane Ouattara is excluded over
doubts about his Ivorian nationality.

Sept. 19, 2002 – Failed coup against Gbagbo. But rebels
seize the north of the country as civil war breaks out.

2004 – Nine French soldiers are killed in an Ivorian air
strike against rebels. France destroys the country’s air force,
sparking attacks by Gbagbo supporters on the expatriate French
community that force 8,000 to be evacuated.

2005 – The end of Gbagbo’s first term. But elections are
repeatedly delayed, with postponements blamed on logistical
failings and a row over eligibility to vote, centred on the
question of who is and is not Ivorian.

March 4, 2007 – Gbagbo signs a peace and power-sharing
arrangement with rebel leader Guillaume Soro, who later becomes
his prime minister.

July 22, 2010 – Soro quits as rebel party chief amid
meetings between Gbagbo and opposition leaders which appear to
result in agreement that elections can finally go ahead. Two
weeks later Soro sets first round of the poll for Oct. 31.

Oct. 31 – First round of presidential election. Gbagbo comes
first with 38 percent, not enough to win outright. Former
premier Alassane Ouattara is second with 32 percent.

Nov. 28 – Run-off ballot between Gbagbo and Ouattara.

Dec. 2 – The election commission says Ouattara wins with
54.1 percent of the vote compared with 45.9 percent for Gbagbo.

Dec. 3 – The Constitutional Council, run by a Gbagbo ally,
rejects the results as rigged. Gbagbo is declared the winner.

— The United Nations refuses to rubber-stamp Gbagbo’s win
and endorses Ouattara as winner. The African Union, West African
ECOWAS bloc, the United States, EU and others will follow suit.

Dec. 16 – Pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara forces wage gun
battles in the streets of Abidjan, and exchange fire in the
central town of Tiebissou. At least 20 people are killed as
security forces clash with anti-Gbagbo protesters.

Dec. 17 – The European Union and Washington threaten travel
bans and asset freezes on Gbagbo and his allies.

Dec. 18 – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rejects a
demand by Gbagbo for U.N. and French forces to leave.

Dec. 20 – U.N. Security Council extends mandate of
peacekeeping mission by six months.

Dec. 21 – Gbagbo invites world commission to investigate
poll results. Move dismissed by critics as delaying tactic.

Dec. 22 – The World Bank cuts financing to Ivory Coast,
freezing aid commitments in excess of $800 million.

Dec. 23 – West African regional Central Bank says to block
Gbagbo’s access to Ivory Coast accounts, recognise Ouattara and
his government.

Dec. 24 – Heads of state from West African regional bloc
ECOWAS issue declaration threatening the use of force if Gbagbo
does not step down.

– Ouattara asks the Hague to investigate alleged human
rights abuses after the U.N. and human rights groups point to
reports of killings, kidnappings and torture.

TIMELINE-Ivory Coast’s troubled decade