Ivory Coast profile - Timeline

  • 24 October 2016
  • From the section Africa

A chronology of key events

1842 - France imposes protectorate over coastal zone.

1893 - Ivory Coast made into a colony.

1904 - Ivory Coast becomes part of the French Federation of West Africa.

1944 - Felix Houphouet-Boigny, later to become Ivory Coast's first president, founds a union of African farmers, which develops into the inter-territorial African Democratic Rally and its Ivorian section, the Ivory Coast Democratic Party.

1958 - Ivory Coast becomes a republic within the French Community.


1960 - France grants independence under President Felix Houphouet-Boigny. He holds power until he dies in 1993.

1990 - Opposition parties legalised; Houphouet-Boigny wins Ivory Coast's first multiparty presidential election, beating Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI).

1993 - Henri Konan Bedie becomes president following the death of Houphouet-Boigny.

1995 October - Bedie re-elected in a ballot that is boycotted by opposition parties in protest at restrictions imposed on their candidates.

1999 July - Alassane Ouattara, a Muslim, leaves job at International Monetary Fund and returns to run for president in 2000; his plan to challenge Bedie splits country along ethnic and religious lines. Opponents say he is national of Burkina Faso, not Ivory Coast.


1999 - Bedie overthrown in military coup led by Robert Guei. Bedie flees to France.

2000 October - Guei proclaims himself president after announcing he has won presidential elections, but is forced to flee in the wake of a popular uprising against his perceived rigging of the poll.

2000 October - Laurent Gbagbo, believed to be the real winner in the presidential election, is proclaimed president. Opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, excluded from running in the poll, calls for a fresh election.

2000 October - Fighting erupts between Gbagbo's mainly southern Christian supporters and followers of Ouattara, who are mostly Muslims from the north.

2000 December - President Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) emerges as the biggest single party in parliamentary elections.

2001 January - Attempted coup fails.

2001 March - President Gbagbo and opposition leader Ouattara meet for the first time since violence erupted between their supporters in October 2000 and agree to work towards reconciliation.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The 2002-3 civil war left Ivory Coast divided for several years

2001 - Reports of child slave ship off Africa's west coast spark allegations of child slavery in cocoa plantations, straining international relations. Government moves to tackle the issue.

2001 March - Calls for fresh presidential and legislative elections after Alassane Ouattara's party gains majority at local polls.

2001 June - Amnesty International criticises government's human rights record over alleged extra-judicial killings of 57 northerners during presidential election campaign in October 2000. Eight gendarmes accused of the killings are cleared in August.

2001 October - President Gbagbo sets up National Reconciliation Forum. General Guei refuses to attend in protest against the arrest of his close aide Captain Fabien Coulibaly.

2001 November - Opposition leader Alassane Ouattara returns, ending year-long exile in France and Gabon.

2002 August - Ouattara's RDR opposition party given four ministerial posts in new government.


2002 19 September - Mutiny in Abidjan by soldiers unhappy at being demobilised grows into full-scale rebellion, with Ivory Coast Patriotic Movement rebels seizing control of the north.

2002 October-December - Short-lived ceasefire in October gives way to further clashes and battle for key cocoa-industry town of Daloa. Previously unknown rebel groups seize towns in west.

2003 January - President Gbagbo accepts peace deal at talks in Paris. Deal proposes power-sharing government.

2003 March - Political parties, rebels agree on new government to include nine members from rebel ranks. "Consensus" prime minister, Seydou Diarra, is tasked with forming cabinet.

2003 May - Armed forces sign ceasefire with rebel groups.

2003 July - At a ceremony in the presidential palace, military chiefs and rebels declare that the war is over.

2003 August - Group of suspected mercenaries and their backers detained in France; said to have planned to assassinate President Gbagbo.

2003 December - 19 killed in armed attack on state TV building in Abidjan.

UN deploys

2004 March - Deadly clashes during crackdown on opposition rally against President Gbagbo in Abidjan.

First contingent of UN peacekeeping force deployed.

2004 May - UN report says March's opposition rally was used as pretext for planned operation by security forces. Report says more than 120 people were killed and alleges summary executions, torture.

2004 November - Ivorian air force attacks rebels; French forces enter the fray after nine of their soldiers are killed in an air strike. Violent anti-French protests ensue. UN imposes arms embargo.

2004 December - Parliament passes reforms envisaged under the 2003 peace accord, including abolishing the need for a president to have Ivorian parents.

2005 April - After talks in South Africa the government and rebels declare an "immediate and final end" to hostilities.

2005 June - Massacres in western town of Duekoue: President Gbagbo says more than 100 people were killed, but contradicts widely-held view that ethnic rifts lay behind violence.

Poll called off

2005 October - Planned elections are shelved as President Gbagbo invokes a law which he says allows him to stay in power. The UN extends his mandate for a further year.

2005 December - Economist Charles Konan Banny is nominated as prime minister by mediators. He is expected to disarm militias and rebels and to organise elections due in October 2006.

The UN Security Council broadens its embargo to include diamonds in addition to arms.

2006 January - Violent street demonstrations by supporters of President Gbagbo over what they see as UN interference in internal affairs.

2006 February - Main political rivals meet on Ivorian soil for the first time since the 2002 rebellion. They agree to meet again to iron out differences.

2006 June - Militias loyal to President Gbagbo miss disarmament deadlines.

2006 September - Political, rebel leaders say they've failed to make any breakthrough on the main issues standing in the way of elections - principally voter registration and disarmament.

Government resigns over a scandal involving the dumping of toxic waste in Abidjan. Fumes from the waste kill three people and make many more ill.

2006 November - UN Security Council resolution extends the transitional government's mandate for another year.

Power-sharing deal

2007 March - Government and New Forces rebels sign a power-sharing peace deal, mediated by Burkina Faso. Under the deal, New Forces leader Guillaume Soro is named as prime minister.

2007 April - President Gbagbo declares "the war is over" between his government and northern rebels, as the two sides move to dismantle the military buffer zone. Within days aid workers report an increase in violence.

2007 May - Militia begin to disarm.

2007 June - Prime Minister Soro survives a rocket attack on his plane.

2007 December - Rebel, government soldiers pull back from front-line positions as part of process to reunite country.

2008 January - UN renews mandate of 8,000 peacekeepers for six months to ensure polls are held by mid-year.

2008 January - Ten people are arrested and charged for plotting a coup in December 2007. Their alleged ring-leader, Sergeant Ibrahim Coulibaly, denies the charges.

2008 April - President Gbagbo cancels custom duties after a second day of violent protests against rising food costs.

Date of long-awaited presidential elections put back from June to the end of November.

Disarmament begins

2008 May - Former rebels who still control the northern half of the country begin disarming.

2008 November - President Gbagbo and Prime Minister Soro agree to postpone presidential elections yet again, citing delays in voter registration and security concerns.

2009 April - International Monetary Fund (IMF) agrees to write off $3bn (£2bn) of Ivory Coast's $12.8bn national debt.

2009 May - Former rebels hand over 10 northern zones to civilian administrators, as part of the process of returning the northern part of the country to state control.

2010 31 October - First round of presidential election. Mr Gbagbo comes first with 38%, not enough to win outright. Former premier Alassane Ouattara is second with 32%. A run-off vote is held in November.

Post-election standoff

2010 December - Election commission declares Mr Ouattara the winner of the run-off. Mr Gbagbo refuses to accept result and dispute between the two camps soon escalates into violence.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Images of Laurent Gagbo's capture went around the world April 2011

2011 April - Alassane Ouattara's forces capture Laurent Gbagbo.

UN renews its arms and diamond sales embargo, in place since 2004-5, for another year.

2011 May - Alassane Ouattara is inaugurated as president.

2011 September - Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission - aimed at forging unity after post-election violence that left about 3,000 people dead and 500,000 displaced - is launched.

2011 November - Laurent Gbagbo is handed over to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity.

2011 December - Parliamentary elections. President Ouattara and his allies secure a majority. Followers of Laurent Gbagbo boycott the vote.

2012 February - The International Criminal Court decides to extend its investigation into abuses in Ivory Coast back to 2002. It could highlight Prime Minister Guillaume Soro's role as a northern militia leader in the division of the country that year. Mr Soro steps down the following month, to become chairman of parliament.


2012 June - The interior minister says the authorities foil a plot to overthrow the government organised by supporters of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo.

2012 September-October - Ivory Coast closes its borders with Ghana for two weeks after a deadly attack on an army checkpoint in the border town of Noe. Officials blame the attack on exiled supporters of ousted President Laurent Gbagbo.

2012 November - President Ouattara dissolves the government after a row between the parties over a new marriage law.

The International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant for Simone Gbagbo, the wife of ex-President Laurent Gbagbo, over alleged crimes against humanity committed in the wake of the 2010 elections.

2013 April - Voting in local elections passes off peacefully after tensions during campaigning. It is marred by a boycott and a low turn-out.

2013 August - Michel Gbagbo - son of ex-President Laurent Gbagbo - is released on bail along with 13 others considered Gagbo supporters.

2013 October - International Criminal Court makes public an arrest warrant issued in December 2011 for Ivorian ex-minister Charles Ble Goude over war crimes allegations.

2013 December - Ghanaian officials accuse Ivory Coast of sending agents to kidnap or assassinate Gagbo supporters in Ghana. Ivory Coast denies this.

2014 April - UN Security Council lifts embargo on Ivory Coast's diamond trade.

2015 March - Former first lady Simone Gbagbo is sentenced to twenty years in prison for her role in violence that followed the presidential election in 2010.

2016 March - Islamist militants attack the beach resort of Grand Bassam, near Abidjan, killing 18 people. The attack follows similar Islamist assaults on hotels in the capitals of Mali and Burkina Faso in recent months.