Tensions in Ivory Coast & Ghana

The government of Ivory coast has closed its border with Ghana following a deadly attack on two police stations in Noe, a border town in South Eastern Ivory coast. The attack which was allegedly instigated by forces loyal to ex Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo occurred on Sept 20th and resulted in the death of eight officials.

Ivorian Defense Minister Paul Koffi confirmed that five of the attackers were killed during the gunfire and the rest retreated to Ghana. Ivory Coast, a former French colony has experienced a tumultuous period of political instability since the death of its head of state Felix Houphouet-Boigny in 1993. In a high stakes presidential election in 2000, Laurent Gbagbo was installed as president however, two years later, a failed coup d’etat led to violent uprisings throughout the country. After an uneasy period of ceasefire, presidential elections were held in 2010 and Alassane Ouattara was sworn in as president.

Ouattara’s government has long maintained that loyalists of Gbagbo are in hiding in Ghana and use strategic towns along the border to launch attacks to destabilize Ivory Coast. In a bid to calm tensions, earlier this week, Ghana’s President John Mahama visited Ivory Coast and vowed ‘frank co-operation’ to support the political stability of Ivory Coast.

 

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