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Cote d'Ivoire -- Breaking the Ivorian Cycle of Violence: Spoilers and Connectors [Nov 11, 2004]

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The Ivorian crisis has taken a new twist as violence has re-escalated following the killing of nine French peacekeepers in the rebel held town of Bouake in northern Cote d’Ivoire in the wake air bombardments of rebel strongholds by Ivorian air force. The French reaction was swift and energetic. President Chirac ordered the destruction of the entire Ivorian air power. Abidjan, once again became the theatre of violent demonstrations, pillage and looting as anti-French sentiments have surged forcing the international community to start evacuating its nationals and staff based in Cote d’Ivoire. Latest reports say more than 60 people have been killed by French forces and the Ivorian government has accused the French of excessive and non-commensurate use of force and deliberate attempt to humiliate the Gbagbo Government. The French claim they acted in self defence and deny killing any Ivorian. The confidence gap between the supposed peacekeeper (France) and Ivorians especially in the Government held zone has dwindled drastically. The French have forcefully and strategically taken over the international airports in Yamoussoukro and Abidjan.

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