The country, considered for a long time the ‘showcase’ of sub-Saharan Africa, was entering, in the second half of the 1990s, a long phase of crisis. With the death in 1993 of F. Houphouët-Boigny, president of the Republic since independence (1960), the numerous factors of structural instability came to light: the fragile political construction with a population fragmented into a myriad of ethnic groups of which none exclusive of the Ivory Coast d’A. (about 60different groups and as many languages, one third of the residents from neighboring countries, two main religious groups, Catholics and Muslims), the inadequacy of a ruling class that grew up in the shadow of Patriarch Houphouët-Boigny and representative of local interests and clients, the weakness of an economy anchored to a substantially colonial model, all centered on the export of raw materials with an almost unique partner, France, also present in the country with its troops to place an implicit limit on sovereignty. To progressively transform a critical situation into open civil war was the decision of HK Bédié, president of the Republic since 1993, confirmed in elections boycotted by the opposition in 1995, to carry out his constitutional amendment project aimed at excluding from political life those who were not born in Ivory Coast d’A. and he was not the son of Ivorian parents. This amendment, art. 35 of the Constitution, allowed Bédié to reappear in the elections without having to face his most fearsome competitor, AD Ouattara, exponent of the northern regions, former prime minister and senior executive of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), because he was originally from Burkina Faso. In this way, the delicate institutional balance on which coexistence in a composite and multi-ethnic country had been based until then was in crisis. A similar institutional forcing took place in a difficult economic context that also saw the freezing of credits and aid programs decided by the IMF and the European Union as a measure against corruption and inefficiency repeatedly demonstrated by the regime. In December 1999, at the height of a wave of demonstrations by soldiers demanding their salary, a coup d’état led by General R. Guéï dismissed Bédié, forcing him to flee first to Togo and then to Paris. The military’s program included presidential elections, which in fact were held on schedule, but whose regularity was seriously compromised by Guéï’s choice to run for the office of president, by the decision of the Supreme Court to exclude the majority of candidates from the competition (among these Ouattara) and the growing climate of intimidation. Faced with results that saw the affirmation of the candidate of the Front populaire ivoirien (FPI) of socialist inspiration, L. Gbagbo, Guéï dissolved the electoral commission, imposed a state of emergency and declared himself the winner. After days of violent unrest, Guéï left the country and Gbagbo assumed the presidency, while the parties excluded from the competition called for new elections. The legislative consultations (December 2000), still held with the exclusion of Ouattara’s party, in conditions of dubious legality and without the monitoring of international organizations, gave the victory to the FPI, but recorded the participation of just 32 % of those entitled to vote and were boycotted in 29 of the 32 constituencies in the North. During 2001 and in the first months of 2002, after yet another coup attempt by a military group linked to Guéï (January), there was a first attempt to recompose the crisis marked by the meeting between Gbagbo and Ouattara (March 2001), by the establishment of a Forum for reconciliation (October 2001), from the entry into government of the Ouattara party with four ministries (January 2002). In September the situation deteriorated again due to the mutiny of some of the troops who, rejected by the capital, quickly occupied the north of the country, and formed themselves into the Mouvement patriotique de la Côte d’Ivoire (MPCI), while in the western part they emerged two new rebel groups, which in 2003 they joined together to found the Forces Nouvelles (FN) movement.
According to Philosophynearby, the new agreements between the government and all the rebel forces reached in January 2003, thanks to the mediation of France, failed to resolve the situation and the country was effectively divided into two zones separated by the presence of the French interposition forces, ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and, since 2004, of the UN. In November 2004, after violent clashes had occurred in Abidjan during the previous months and some parties had left the government, government planes bombed the city of Boauké, a stronghold of the anti-government forces, but where departments of the French contingent were also headquartered, which recorded nine victims . The reaction of France caused the destruction of the entire Ivorian military aviation, causing violent street demonstrations with dead and wounded. In December 2004, thanks to the commitment of the Republic of South Africa (mediator for the African Union), an agreement was reached which reaffirmed the precedent and set the elections for October 2005.. However, the uncertainty of the situation pushed the UN to postpone the elections and extend Gbagbo’s mandate for one year. In December 2005, CK Banny was appointed prime minister, who gathered the consent of all the forces in the field.