Potential Hot Spots: December 10, 2000

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Followers of opposition leader, Alassane Dramane Quattara led two days of violent demonstrations in the north on December 4th and 5th, leaving 20-30 dead. Earlier negotiations between Quattara and the government broke down.  The police imposed a curfew and flooded the Moslem north with reinforcements. Some unrest persisted, but was kept under control. Quattara and his followers insist that the legislative elections cannot be fair and the unrest has caused foreign election observers to agree, and withdraw. The elections will go on, however. Quattara was excluded from the election because he was accused of being born in another country. Basically, the dispute is between the Moslem north (represented by Quattara) and the Christian south. This is a common source of conflict in this part of Africa. It has not, yet, led to open warfare in Ivory Coast.  But many in the north are threatening to secede. The country of 16 million is 40 percent Moslem, 30 percent Christian with the remainder being Animists. About a third of the population is foreign born, largely a result of Ivory Coast being one of the more stable nations in the region for the last decade.  

 

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