Revolt has gripped the African nation of Ivory Coast (also called Cote d’Ivoire).  A conflict – perhaps a budding civil war – is taking place as forces of opposition leader Alassan Ouattara are clashing with forces of incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo. 

Like many sub-Saharan African countries, the Ivory Coast is no stranger to civil political and military conflicts.   In 2002, a civil war erupted.  A few months later, an unstable unity government took over for the next few years.

In late 2010, a much delayed election took place.   While Ouattara was initially declared the winner, the Constitutional Council, which consisted of Gbagbo supporters, declared the results fraudulent and gave the victory to Gbagbo.  Many in the Ivory Coast and internationally thought Ouattara actually won the election.

After the highly disputed election, simmering conflicts erupted between Outtara and Gbagbo forces. Last week, Chief of the Defense Staff Phillippe Mangou defected, dealing a big blow to Gbagbo.  Since then, the conflicts and violence have continued.