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Detachment:    Abidjan

Page Updated:  28 Jun 2013

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The Alpha List shows all known Marine Security Guards that have been assigned to this location since the beginning of the program. Additional information is shown when available.

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Timeline

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The Timeline shows all known Marine Security Guards that have arrived on post during the given year.  Additional information is shown when available. TA's are not generally shown.

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ALPHA List for Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Ahrens, Brian C.
Anderson, GySgt.   86-87
Avery, Douglas  96-98
Baumgartner, Sgt   76-77 
Belt, Mike  90-91
Benge, Curtis  81-82
Booker, Randy Stephen    75-76
Bray, Cpl.   76-77
Brownmiller, Keith D.  70-71       
Chars, Robert J.  I 75-77 & 84-86 
Covert, Jeff 
Desper, Terry    86-88
Dison , Michael G.  68-69 
Driscoll, Steven  90-91
Ekholm, Kristian R.  01
Escalera, David R.   86-88
Evans, Jacky  93-95
Farley, John J.  77-78
Fetters, James   05-06
Franklin, James (Jay) 83-85
Garvine, Allen    84-85
Garza, Ray   86-88
Giordano, Robert Willliam   74-75
Gonzalez, Abigail  90-91
Grant, Stewart M.   62-63
Hatra, Dustee   02-03
Herrera, Carlos A.   01
Hewitt, Scott   86-88
Hoffman, LCpl. 65-66
Hoikkala, Donald L.  76-77   
Holiday, Cpl.   76-77   
Hollenbeck, Gerald D.Sgt.  63-64
Hunter, Donald L.   77-78
Inboden, Ronald   68-69
Jarvis, Kevin W.  77
Johnson, Will   86-88
Johnson, William Jr.  81-82
Johnson, Harold   63   
Juern, James F.   70
Knight, Scott   86-88
Krank, Sgt.    76-77                       
Kunkle, Raymond L. Sgt.  63-64           
Larimer, John M.   71-72
Lester, Shane  90-91

Martin, John Cpl.   63-64
McGuinness, Richard B.Cpl.  64-65
McKenna, Sgt.   76-77
Morris, Dwayne   86-88
Muller, Joshua   76-77
Mungle, Charles   64   
Munster, Robert P.   68-69
Nace, William S.   72-73
Ongley, Jerry F.   68-69
Peacock, Tracy  98-00
Perez, Alejo (Buzz)   71-72
Pineda, Christian   01
Pollard, Dennis D.   74-75
Praschunus, Paul   90-91
Randles, Don
Reed, Anthony  91-93
Royal, John   90-91
Schroeder, Jeffrey J.  94-95
Sebastian, Michael D.   85-86
Shefman, Lee   01
Shorette, Louis  63-64
Siciliano, Tony    95-97
Sikes, GySgt.  87-88
Smith, Vernon   62-63
Spadaro, Anthony   87-88
Verdiglio, Paul A.  68-69
Wiechert, Jim H.   89-91
Williams, Danny   62-63
Wilson, Steve  01
Winston,Reggie    86-88
Wright, Rick   74-75







 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIMELINE for Abidjan, Ivory Coast

2013


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2012


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2011


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2010
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2009
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2008
Ambassador: 
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2007
Ambassador: Aubrey Hooks
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

The civil war revolves around a number of issues, particularly:

  • The end of the 30-year presidency of Félix Houphouët-Boigny forced the nation to grapple with the democratic process for the first time. Houphouët-Boigny had been president for the 33 years since independence, and so the nation's political system was bound tightly to his myth, charisma, and political and economic competence. The political system was forced to deal with open, competitive elections without Houphouët-Boigny for the first time in 1995.
  • The large number of foreigners in Côte d'Ivoire, and Ivorians of somewhat recent foreign descent, created an important issue of voting rights. 26% of the population was of foreign origin, particularly from Burkina Faso, a poorer country to the north. Many of these had been Ivorian citizens for 2 generations or more, and some of them, of Mandinka heritage, can be considered native to the northern part of what is now known as Côte d'Ivoire. These ethnic tensions had been suppressed under the strong leadership of Houphouët-Boigny, but surfaced after his passing. The term Ivoirity, originally coined by Henri Konan Bédié to denote the common cultural identity of all those living in Côte d'Ivoire came to be used by nationalist and xenophobic politics and press to represent solely the population of the southeastern portion of the country, particularly Abidjan.
  • Discrimination toward people of Burkinabé origin made neighbor countries, particularly Burkina Faso, fear a massive migration of refugees.
  • An economic downturn due to a deterioration of the terms of trade between Third World and developed countries worsened conditions, exacerbating the underlying cultural and political issues.
  • Unemployment forced a part of the urban population to return to the fields, which they discovered had been exploited by immigrants.

·         Violence was turned initially against African foreigners. The prosperity of the Côte d'Ivoire had attracted many Africans from West Africa, and by 1998 they constituted 26% of the population, 56% of whom were Burkinabés.

·         In this atmosphere of increasing racial tension, Houphouët-Boigny's policy of granting nationality to Burkinabés resident in Côte d'Ivoire was criticized as being solely to gain their political support.

·         In 1995, the tensions turned violent when Burkinabés were killed in plantations at Tabou, during racial riots.

·         Ethnic violence had already existed between owners of lands and theirs hosts particularly in the west side of the country, between Bete and Baoule, Bete and Lobi. Since independence, people from the center of the country, Baoules, have been encouraged to move to fertile lands of the west and south-west of the country where they have been granted superficialities to grow cocoa, coffee and comestibles. Years later, some Bete have come to resent these successful farmers. Voting became difficult for these immigrants as they were refused voting rights

Civil war

In the early hours of September 19, 2002 troops, many of whom originated from the north of the country, mutinied. They launched attacks in many cities, including Abidjan. By midday they had control of the north of the country. Their principal claim relates to the definition of who is a citizen of Ivory Coast (and so who can stand for election as President), voting rights and their representation in government in Abidjan. On the first night of the uprising, former president Robert Guéi was killed. There is some dispute as to what actually happened that night. The government said he had died leading a coup attempt, and state television showed pictures of his body in the street. However, it was widely claimed that his body had been moved after his death and that he had actually been murdered at his home along with fifteen other people. Alassane Ouattara took refuge in the French embassy, and his home was burned down.

The events in Abidjan show that it is not a tribal issue, but a crisis of transition from a dictatorship to a democracy, with the clashes inherent in the definition of citizenship.

Forces involved in the conflict include:

  • Official government forces, the National Army (FANCI), also called loyalists, formed and equipped essentially since 2003
  • The Young Patriots: nationalist groups aligned with President Laurent Gbagbo
  • Mercenaries recruited by president Gbagbo:
    • Belarusians (allegedly)
    • Former combatants of Liberia, including under-17 youths, forming the so-called "Lima militia" [1]
  • New Forces (Forces Nouvelles, FN), ex-northern rebels, who hold 60% of the country
  • French military forces: Troops sent within the framework of Operation Unicorn and under UN mandate (UNOCI), 3000 men in February 2003 and 4600 in November 2004;
  • Soldiers of the CEDEAO, White helmets, also under the UN.

The rebels were immediately well armed, not least because to begin with most were serving soldiers; it has been claimed that they were also given support by Burkina Faso. Additionally, government supporters claimed that the rebels were supported by France; however, the rebels also denounced France as supporting the government, and the French forces quickly moved between the two sides to stop the rebels from mounting new attacks on the south. It was later claimed that the rebellion was planned in Burkina Faso by soldiers of the Ivory Coast close to General Guéï. Guillaume Soro, leader of the Patriotic Movement of Côte d'Ivoire (MPCI) later to be known as the Forces Nouvelles de Côte d'Ivoire/New Forces – the rebel movement– comes from a student union close to the FPI of Gbagbo, but was also a substitute for an RDR candidate in the legislative elections of 2000. Louis Dacoury Tabley was also one of the leaders of the FPI.

Once they had regrouped in Bouake, the rebels quickly threatened to move southwards to attack Abidjan again. France deployed the troops it had based in Ivory Coast, on September 22, and blocked the rebels' path. The French said they had acted to protect their nationals and other foreigners, and they went into the northern cities to bring out expatriates from many nations. The USA gave (limited) support.

On October 17, a cease-fire was signed, and negotiations started.

On November 28, the popular Movement of the Ivory Coast of the Great West (MPIGO) and the Movement for Justice and Peace (MJP), two new rebel movements, took the control of the towns of Man and Danané, both located in the west of the country. France conducted negotiations. French troops dispatched to evacuate foreigners battled rebels near Man on November 30. The clashes left at least ten rebels dead and one French soldier injured.[4]

The cease-fire nearly collapsed on January 6 when two groups of rebels attacked French positions near the town of Duékoué, injuring nine soldiers, one of them seriously. According to a French spokesman, French forces repelled the assault and counterattacked, killing 30 rebels.[5]

September 2002

Attacks were launched almost simultaneously in most major cities; the government forces maintained control of Abidjan and the south, but the new rebel forces had taken the north and based themselves in Bouake.

Laurent Gbagbo considered deserters from the army, supported by interference from Burkina Faso, as the cause of destabilization. The principal difference in interpretation related to defence. The consequence is that Paris wished for reconciliation, when the Côte d'Ivoire government wanted military repression.

Paris sent 2500 soldiers to man a peace line and requested help from the United Nations.

[edit] The Kléber (Marcoussis) agreements

To bring parties together, the parties signed a compromise at Linas-Marcoussis on January 26 [2]. President Gbagbo was to retain power and opponents were invited into a government of reconciliation and obtained the Ministries for Defense and the Interior. Soldiers of the CEDEAO and 4000 French soldiers were placed between the belligerents - a peace line. The parties agreed to work together on modifying national identity, eligibility for citizenship, and land tenure laws which many observers see as among the root causes of the conflict.

As of February 4, anti-French demonstrations took place in Abidjan, in support for Laurent Gbagbo. The end of the civil war was proclaimed on July 4. An attempt at a putsch, organized from France by Ibrahim Coulibaly (FPI), was thwarted on August 25 by the French secret service.

The UN authorized the formation of the UNOCI on February 27, 2004, in addition to the French forces and those of the CEDEAO.

On March 4, the PDCI suspended its participation in the government, being in dissension with the FPI (President Gbagbo's party) on nominations to office within the administration and in public companies.

On March 25, a peace march was organized to protest against the blocking of the Marcoussis agreements. Demonstrations had been prohibited by decree since March 18, and the march was repressed by the armed forces: 37 died according to the government, between 300 and 500 according to Henri Konan Bédié's PDCI. This repression caused the withdrawal from the government of several opposition parties. A UN report of May 3 estimated at least 120 dead, and implicated highly-placed government officials.

The government of national reconciliation, initially composed of 44 members, was reduced to 15 after the dismissal of three ministers, amongst them Guillaume Soro, political head of the rebels, on May 6. That involved the suspension of the participation in the national government of the majority of political movements.

The French consequently were in an increasingly uncomfortable situation. The two sides each accused France of siding with the other: the loyalists because of its protection of the rebels, and the non-implementation the agreements of defense made with the Côte d'Ivoire; the rebels because it was preventing the capture of Abidjan. On June 25, a French soldier was killed in his vehicle by a government soldier close to Yamoussoukro.

On July 4, 2003, the government and New Forces militaries signed an "End of the War" declaration, recognized President Gbagbo's authority, and vowed to work for the implementation of the LMA and a program of Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR).

In 2004, various challenges to the Linas-Marcoussis Accord occurred. Violent flare-ups and political deadlock in the spring and summer led to the Accra III talks in Ghana. Signed on July 30, 2004 the Accra III Agreement reaffirmed the goals of the LMA with specific deadlines and benchmarks for progress. Unfortunately, those deadlines – late September for legislative reform and October 15 for rebel disarmament – were not met by the parties. The ensuing political and military deadlock was not broken until November 4, 2004.

 The resumption of fighting

But the timetable was not respected. The bills envisaged in the process were blocked by the FPI, the Ivorian National Assembly. The conditions of eligibility for the presidential poll were not re-examined, because Laurent Gbagbo claimed the right to choose a prime minister, not in accordance with agreements suggested in Accra. Faced with political impasse, the disarmament whose beginning had been envisaged fifteen days after the constitutional modifications did not begin in mid-October.

A sustained assault on the press followed, with newspapers partial to the north being banned and two presses destroyed. Dissenting radio stations were silenced.

UN soldiers opened fire on hostile demonstrators taking issue with the disarmament of the rebels on October 11. The rebels, who took the name of New Forces (FN), announced on October 13 their refusal to disarm, citing large weapons purchases by the Côte d'Ivoire national army (FANCI). They intercepted two trucks of the FANCI full of heavy weapons travelling towards the demarcation line. On October 28, they declared an emergency in the north of the country.

 Ivorian-French violence

Main article: Ivorian-French violence, 2004

On November 4, the new FANCI planes, apparently manned by Belarusian mercenaries, began a bombardment of Bouaké. On November 6, FANCI planes bombed a French base in Bouaké, supposedly by accident, killing nine French soldiers and an American aid worker and injuring 39 others. The French forces responded by destroying both Sukhoï fighter-bombers based at Yamoussoukro. Jacques Chirac gave the order to destroy five other Mi-24 helicopters. One hour after the attack on the camp, French forces established control of the airport of Abidjan. Simultaneously, the Young Patriots of Abidjan (see politics of Côte d'Ivoire for more details), rallied by the State media, plundered possessions of French nationals. Rapes, beatings, and murders followed. Several hundred Westerners, mainly French, took refuge on the roofs of their buildings to escape the mob, and were then evacuated by helicopters of the French Army. France sent in reinforcements of 600 men based in Gabon and France while foreign civilians were evacuated from Abidjan airport on French and Spanish military airplanes                                                                                                                                    

As of November 8, 2004, expatriate Westerners (French mainly, but also Moroccan, German, Spanish, British, Dutch, Swiss, Canadian, and Americans) in Côte d'Ivoire chose to leave. On November 13, President of the Ivorian National Assembly Mamadou Coulibaly (FPI) declared that the government of the Ivory Coast did not take any responsibility in the bombardment of November 6, and announced its intention of approaching the International Court of Justice:

  • for the destruction of the Ivory Coast Air force, only recently re-equipped;
  • for activities by the French Army responsible for several deaths.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Laurent Gbagbo called into question even the French deaths. Lastly, on the morning of 13 November, 2600 expatriate French had returned to France, and 1600 other European expatriates had left.

The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1572 (2004) on November 15, enforcing an arms embargo on the parties.

A meeting of the Ivorian political leaders, moderated by South African President Thabo Mbeki was held in Pretoria from April 3 to April 6, 2005. The resulting Pretoria Agreement declared the immediate and final cessation of all hostilities and the end of the war throughout the national territory [3]. Rebel forces started to withdraw heavy weapons from the front line on April 21 [4].

Presidential elections were due to be held on October 30, 2005, but in September the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, announced that the planned elections could not be held in time.[6] On October 11, 2005, an alliance of Côte d'Ivoire's main opposition parties called on the UN to reject African Union proposals to keep President Laurent Gbagbo in office for up to an additional 12 months beyond the end of his mandate;[7] however, the Security Council approved this a few days later.[8] The Côte d'Ivoire national football team helped secure a truce in 2006 when it qualified for the World Cup and convinced Gbagbo to restart peace talks.[3] It also helped further reduce tensions between government and rebel forces in 2007 by playing a match in the rebel capital of Bouaké, an occasion that brought both armies together peacefully for the first time.[9] In late 2006, the elections were again delayed, this time until October 2007.

On March 4, 2007, a peace agreement was signed between the government and the New Forces in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. New Forces leader Guillaume Soro was subsequently appointed prime minister and took office in early April.[10] On April 16, in the presence of Gbagbo and Soro, the U.N. buffer zone between the two sides began to be dismantled, and government and New Forces soldiers paraded together for the first time. Gbagbo declared that the war was over.[11]

On May 19, the disarmament of pro-government militia began as the Resistance Forces of the Great West gave up over a thousand weapons in a ceremony in Guiglo, at which Gbagbo was present.[12]

Central government administration began returning to the New Forces-held areas in June, with the first new prefect in the north being installed on June 18 in Bouaké.[13]

On June 29, rockets were fired at Soro's plane at the airport in Bouaké, significantly damaging the plane. Soro was unhurt, although four others were said to have been killed and ten were said to have been wounded.[14]

Gbagbo visited the north for the first time since the outbreak of the war for a disarmament ceremony, the "peace flame", on July 30; Soro was also present. This ceremony involved burning weapons to symbolize the end of the conflict.[15][16] It was previously planned for June 30 and then for July 5, but was delayed.[17] At the ceremony, Gbagbo declared the war over and said that the country should move quickly to elections, which were planned for 2008.[16]

On November 27, 2007, Gbagbo and Soro signed another agreement in Ouagadougou, this one to hold the planned election before the end of June 2008. On November 28, Gbagbo flew to Korhogo, then to Soro's native Ferkessedougou, at the start of a three-day visit to the far north, the first time he had been to that part of the country since the outbreak of the war, marking another step toward reconciliation.[18] On December 22, a disarmament process planned to take place over the course of three months began with government soldiers and former rebels withdrawing from their positions near what had been the buffer zone; the forces of the two sides respectively went to barracks in Yamoussoukro and Bouaké. Gbagbo and Soro were present at Tiebissou to mark the event; Gbagbo said that, as a result, the front lines of the conflict no longer existed, and Soro said that it "effectively, concretely marks the beginning of disarmament".[19]

As of May 18, 2005 the UN forces, as result of the continued flaring up of ethnic as well as rebel-government conflict, have experienced difficulty maintaining peace in the supposedly neutral "confidence zone", particularly in the west of the country. UN troops have been deployed laterally, forming a belt across the middle of Côte d'Ivoire (stretching across the whole country and roughly dividing it in two from north to south). This area has a mixture of ethnic groups, notably the Dioula (who are predominantly Muslim and typically aligned with the New Forces), who typically sway to both government and rebel loyalties. This conflict of interests has created widespread looting, pillaging and various other human rights abuses amongst groups based on the typical political alignment of their ethnicities. A total of 25 UN personnel have died during UNOCI.

In 2005, over 1,000 protesters invaded a UN base in Guiglo and took control but were forced back by armed UN peace keepers. A total of 100 protesters died and left 1 UN peace keeper dead and another wounded.

This is not to say that there are no regions where ethnic groups co-exist peacefully, however, the UN troops lack the man-power to prevent inter-ethnic violence. [5]

On July 21, 2007 the UNOCI suspended a Moroccan peacekeeping unit in Ivory Coast following an investigation into allegations of widespread sexual abuse committed by U.N. peacekeepers in the nation. [6]

 

2006
Ambassador: Aubrey Hooks
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

2005
Ambassador: Aubrey Hooks
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

2004
Ambassador: Aubrey Hooks
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

Abidjan
November 8, 2004

Report of the Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast (PCRCI) to the Communist Parties and Organizations

On the Resumption of the Civil War in the Ivory Coast
and the Massacres Perpetrated by the French Army

The crisis which has been raging in our country for more than two years has been marked in these last two months by the resumption of the war, with bombardment of the civilian population and massacres carried out by French imperialism. The conditions of the struggle did not let us promptly provide you with the information and analyses that we have made. This report is designed to make up for that weakness.

After concluding the Accra III agreements, the authorities of the FPI [Popular Front of the Ivory Coast, ruling party since 1995 – translator’s note] began to prepare to block the process of national reconciliation. Thus, the deputies of the FPI refused to adopt the legislative reforms called for by the Accra III agreements to start by September 30, 2004. On October 15, 2004, the rebels for their part refused to disarm since the FPI did not respect the September 30 date for carrying out the legislative reforms. The international community and the imperialist powers once again simply condemned this and appealed to the reasonableness of the parties of the Ivory Coast.

On October 30, the FPI through its President, Pascal Affi N'guesan, announced that, because of the refusal by the rebels to disarm, it would disarm them by force, that is to say, by war. He announced the obsolescence of the Marcoussis agreements [site of the agreements, mediated by France, to end the civil war – translator’s note], demanded the resignation of the government of Seydou Diarra, and demanded that the loyalist army assume its responsibilities and disarm the rebel forces. The latter, in turn, withdrew their ministers from the government of national reconciliation and affirmed that they would not disarm as long as the laws were not reformed according to the schedule fixed by Accra III to the spirit and letter of that agreement. They declared that if the FPI wanted war and attacked them, then they were ready to take up the challenge. The leadership of the FPI called on all their members to gather on November 12 at Bouaké to celebrate the "liberation." Thus all the elements were in place for the imminent resumption of the war.

Beginning on Thursday November 4, 2004, the war resumed with aerial bombardments carried out by the loyalist army on the rebel-controlled zones. The result, announced by the rebels, is 85 civilians killed, houses, bridges and the economic and social infrastructure destroyed, electricity, water and telephone services in the towns cut off, plunging the civilian population into an intolerable situation, the displacement of the population, in short, an increase in the suffering which the popular masses have already had to endure from this reactionary war that has already lasted more than two years. The forces of the UN and of French imperialism, made up of about 11,000 men, shirked from their firm obligation to protect the civilian population according to Resolution 1528, and called those military raids "limited."

With the resumption of the fighting, the militias of the FPI have perpetrated barbarous acts in the zones under government control: sabotage of foreign radio stations (BBC, RFI, Africa No. 1), destruction and burning down of the headquarters of newspapers considered close to the opposition parties (24 Hours, The New Liberal, The New Awakening, The Patriot), destruction of opposition newspapers to prevent their appearance, destruction of the headquarters of the RDR and the PDCI, destruction and robbery of goods of certain responsible politicians who are now in clandestinity, etc.

On Saturday, November 6, at about 3 PM, the foreign radio stations announced that the bombardments carried out by the loyalist forces had struck a barracks of the French imperialist army in Bouaké. The result, according to the French forces, was 9 dead and about twenty wounded. In reaction to the attack, the French military forces responded. Five warplanes, war materiel and the military headquarters at Yamoussokro were destroyed.

When the destruction of the planes was announced, the "patriotic" organizations called on the population to resist. Barricades were set up on the main streets of Abidjan. The 43rd BIMA, the French military base in the Ivory Coast, was surrounded, and an attempt was made to block the Abidjan airport to prevent all arrivals and departures. The vehicles were inspected in a search for whites. The Mermoz and the Blaise Pascal high schools, two French schools, were set on fire. Europeans were accosted and beaten; they were robbed of their goods. The French imperialist army went on the offensive and occupied the Abidjan airport to assure the arrivals and departures, destroying the remaining planes of the loyalist army.

On the TV news at 8 PM on Saturday, November 6, 2004, the spokesperson of the presidency of the republic officially informed the population of the developments that had taken place since that afternoon. He stated that, while awaiting the investigation of the supposed attack on the French barracks in Bouaké, he condemned the French action which according to him took advantage of an incident to attack the Ivory Coast. However, he called on the population to remain calm. He stated that the problem would be solved by diplomatic means. But barely 30 minutes after this statement of the presidency of the republic, the president of the movements of "young patriots" with all his staff appeared on TV to launch the cry of "popular resistance" against the French army until its final departure from the Ivory Coast; he called on all citizens to immediately gather at the 43rd BIMA, the Abidjan airport and the residence of the Head of State Laurent Gbagbo to form a human shield because, he said, France wanted to make a pretext of the incident at Bouaké to carry out a coup d'etat. He stated that 100 tanks were stationed near the Hotel Ivoire, near the residence of the Head of State and that the two bridges were occupied as well as the airport. Other "patriotic" leaders made similar statements, calling on the population to block any movement of the French army on the national territory. At that point, the youths surged out of all the neighborhoods of Abidjan, heading for the places indicated. They surrounded the airport, the Hotel Ivoire, the residence of the Head of State, the radio and television, the transmitter at Abobo.

Faced with those demonstrations, the French army of occupation fired live bullets from helicopters and tanks. The provisional result in Abidjan is grave: many dead, disappeared, seriously wounded, the two bridges of Abidjan and the airport still occupied. According to the General Staff of the army, there have been several people killed and wounded in the interior of the Ivory Coast in the western zones, particularly in Duekoué, due to the passage of French tanks.

Finally, on Sunday, November 7, at about 10 PM, the president of the republic, Laurent Gbagbo, in an address to the nation, reaffirmed his military option of disarming the rebels, and called the attack against the French barracks a minor military incident. He said he was surprised by the French reaction which went beyond a simple incident; he called on the demonstrators to return to their homes. But the movement continued to follow the orders of the "patriotic" leaders. The demonstrations and the killings continued until Tuesday, November 8 at 5 PM, at which time the French tanks returned to their base, the 43rd BIMA. There were more than 50 killed and more than a thousand wounded, according to Dr. Kadio Richard, the official of the FPI in charge of providing aid to the victims.

The Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast denounces the resumption of the war by the FPI, with serious consequences for the people (85 civilians dead). It likewise denounces the grave violations of human rights, the repression against the newspapers and parties of the opposition organized by the militias of the FPI authorities.

It denounces the attacks of the French imperialist army, the massacres perpetrated by that army on unarmed people. It considers it impermissible for an army to attack unarmed civilians. The responsibility for these killings falls as much on the French government of Chirac as on the authorities of the FPI, who maintained the defense accords with France and who specifically demanded the reinforcement of the French army of occupation in order to disarm the rebels. It denounces the irresponsibility of the FPI authorities, who launched the unarmed population against the French tanks, although they have their own army.

The PCRCI considers that this reactionary war has shown to the people of the Ivory Coast the true face of French imperialism, which is an exploiter and criminal. Therefore the withdrawal of the French army of occupation must be an immediate demand, an integral part of the resolution of the present crisis, as is the immediate end to the war, the struggle for liberties and democracy, the struggle against impunity for political crimes. It considers that the struggle against imperialist domination, particularly French imperialism, is the fundamental question of the day in the Ivory Coast. But to struggle against French imperialism to the benefit of other imperialisms is to choose between AIDS and incurable cancer. To call for a fight against imperialism and to refuse to fight against its local servants is demagogy. To organize the fight against imperialism and not to include in this fight the defense and promotion of democracy and liberties, the fight against the political and economic crimes, is a fraud. To confuse the fight against imperialism with the apology for chauvinism is criminal. Therefore, the social-chauvinist FPI authorities are not really fighting against imperialism. They are trying, by means of these mobilizations of the masses, to get stronger French support in their fight against other bourgeois factions.

The Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast greets this great mobilization against the attacks of the French army. But this fight must be deepened in order to break with all the agreements of subjection, for the effective liberation from all the chains, since imperialism is not only the army stationed in the country, but is also the economic, political and cultural domination. It therefore calls on the working class, the peasantry, the youth, and all the revolutionaries and democrats, to join courageously with it in the true fight against international imperialism, particularly French imperialism, and its local lackeys, for liberties, democracy and popular and national sovereignty.

Given the present situation created by the resumption of the war by the social-chauvinist FPI authorities, the Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast demands the immediate cessation of hostilities, the putting in place of the legislative reforms and the disarmament of the belligerent forces and militias, the protection in reality of the population throughout the country against all attacks on human rights, the prosecution of the criminal politicians, the departure of the French army and all the foreign forces. Only the totality of these conditions are the minimum guarantees for an end to the crisis in accordance with the interests of the popular masses.

For the Central Committee
Secretary General
A. EKISSI

Click here to return to the Ivory Coast Index

 

2003

Ambassador: Arlene Render
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 
January:  Rebel forces claim northern half of the country /  granted ministerial positions in a unity government.. Central government has yet to exert control over the northern regions and tension remains high between GBAGBO and rebel leaders.
French and West African troops maintain peace and help implement the peace accords
2002

Ambassador: Arlene Render
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 
September: Failed Coup Attemp / Rebel forces take over Northern Regions.
2001

Ambassador: Arlene Render (Ambassador 2001)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 Ekholm, Kristian R.
Watchstanders: 
GUEI Forced step down because of growing protests, Election Runner up Laurent GBAGBO becomes President.
2000

Ambassador: George Mu (1998-2001)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 
Elections in late 2000, excluded prominent opposition leader Alassane OUATTARA, blatantly rigged results, Robert GUEI declared himself winner.
1999

Ambassador: George Mu (1998-2001)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 
Unpaid Soldiers begin looting Abidjan.
25 December: Military Coup /  President Henri Konan BEDIE replaced by  Junta leader Robert GUEI
1998

Ambassador: George Mu (1998-2001)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1997

Ambassador: Lannon Walker (1995-98)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1996

Ambassador: Lannon Walker (1995-98)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1995

Ambassador: Lannon Walker (1995-98)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1994

Ambassador: Hume Horan (1992-95)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1993

Ambassador: Hume Horan (1992-95)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1992

Ambassador: Hume Horan (1992-1995)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1991

Ambassador: Kenneth L. Brown (1989-1992)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 GySgt John Royal
Watchstanders: Sgts Mike Belt, Steve Driscoll, Abigail Gonzalez, Shane Lester, Paul Praschunus

1990

Ambassador: Kenneth L. Brown (1989-1992)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
GySgt John Royal
Watchstanders: Sgts Mike Belt, Steve Driscoll, Abigail Gonzalez, Shane Lester, Paul Praschunus

1989

Ambassador: Kenneth L. Brown (1989 -1992)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1988

Ambassador: Dennis Kux  (1986-1989) 
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:Robert Chars 
Watchstanders: David R. Escalera 

1987

Ambassador: Dennis Kux  (1986-1989)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 Robert Chars
Watchstanders: David R. Escalera 

1986

Ambassador: Dennis Kux  (1986-1989)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 Robert J. Chars 
Watchstanders: David R. Escalera , Michael D. Sebastian

1985

Ambassador: Robert Hopkins Miller (1983-86)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
Robert J. Chars  
Watchstanders: Michael D. Sebastian 

1984

Ambassador: Robert Hopkins Miller (1983-86)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
Robert J. Chars
Watchstanders: Michael D. Sebastian , David R. Escalera 
Capital transferred to Yamoussoukro
1983

Ambassador: Robert Hopkins Miller (1983-86)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1982

Ambassador: Nancy V. Rawls (1979-1983)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1981

Ambassador: Nancy V. Rawls (1979-1983)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1980

Ambassador: Nancy V. Rawls (1979-1983)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1979

Ambassador: Nancy V. Rawls (1979-1983)
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1978

Ambassador: Monteagle Stearns (1976-79) 
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
 
Watchstanders: 

1977

Ambassador: Monteagle Stearns (1976-79) 
Company Commander: 
Detachment Commander:
SSgt. Ellard
Watchstanders: Sgt. Andy McKenna, Sgt. Michael Baumgartner, Sgt. Gary Krank, Cpl. Stewart Holiday, Sgt. Bob Bray, Sgt. Donald Hoikkala,  Cpl.  Doug Holt,

1976

Ambassador: Monteagle Stearns (1976-79) 
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:
SSgt Robert, Chars / SSgt Ellard
Watchstanders: Sgt. Andy McKenna, Sgt. Michael Baumgartner, Sgt. Gary Krank, Cpl. Stewart Holiday, Sgt. Bob Bray, Sgt. Donald Hoikkala, Sgt. Randy Stephen Booker, Cpl. Doug Holt,
From Don Hoikkala:
 When I departed Abidjan I left for Rome Italy, and then onto 29, Palms Ca. Andy Mckenna went onto London, England. don't know about the rest, SSgt Chars went onto open a new Embassy in Nigeria. I sent him your E-Mail you will most likely here from him.  Mr, Young was our Cook there, and Gubba was our House Boy, The UN Ambassador Andrew Young came to visit the Marine House, played Tennis with the Marines and sat around drinking Flag Beers with some of us,

Do you guys still use the Beach House that the Embassy had for parties, ect?

Do recall a very funny story to tell, was swimming in the back yard pool one day and as you know the back yard was a jungle, and guess a Unknown Snake did not want to share the same water with me and chased me out of the pool, House  boy Gubba killed it for me, never went swimming in there much after that incident.

I guess going to the place called T-Ville was my Highlites, Shopping and just seeing the Ivory Coast was great.I did some Flying there also with Mark Stevens who was my pilot and Teacher, that was the Best time of my life, seeing all the sights from a Piper Cub Air plane.
Semper Fi
 Gunny Hoikkala Ret.
1975

Ambassador: Robert S. Smith (1974-76)
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:
SSgt. Robert J. Chars 
Watchstanders: Sgt. Randy Stephen Booker 

1974

Ambassador: Robert S. Smith (1974-76)
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:
GySgt Doty
Watchstanders: Denny Pollard, Sgt Giordano, Rick Wright
From Denny Pollard
I arrived in Abidjan in April 1974 and was met by Gunny Doty at the airport who said I look like S#$% after getting off the old Pan Am flight from New York.  After the ride to the Marine House I was meet by Gubba House Boy and James who was fired for stealing every knife, fork, spoon, cup and everything else in the kitchen.  During the middle of summer after draining the back yard pool Sgt. Giordano painted the Bud Man on the bottom.  We took and pictures sent to the Budweiser people and received paper napkins and Budweiser bow ties in return.
 
Being scared of snakes and having to pay a price for each one killed the local kids soon caught on and everyday before I drove the green van to the embassy a large snake would appear.  Talk about a shake down.
 
Being from a small town and not much of a pool player or Jack drinker, I soon learned how to shoot pool and stagger home trying to watch the sun come up.  I assume many a young Marine is still following in my foot steps.
 
I departed Abidjan and was transferred to Tokyo and 24-7 night-life, not that ice skating wasn’t fun after a night in the bowling alley in the Hotel which had the only ring in West Africa.  I soon found myself in Camp Le Jeune N.C.
 
Look back what a great time and memories I had thanks to all the Marines.
 
Semper Fi
1973

Ambassador: John F. Root (1969-74)
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:

Watchstanders: 

1972

Ambassador: John F. Root (1969-74)
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:
John M. Larimer
Watchstanders: William S. Nace

1971

Ambassador: John F. Root (1969-74)
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:
John M. Larimer
Watchstanders:  Keith Brownmiller,  Alejo (Buzz) Perez

1970

Ambassador: John F. Root (1969-74)
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:
John M. Larimer
Watchstanders: Keith BrownmillerJames F. Juern

Keith Brownmiller:  One of the biggest memories was having to move the Embassy to a new building, and as you might guess we were involved in the movement of all classified material from one building to the other.

 Another was a bet that we had with the RSO.  It seemed that every time he would leave on an inspection tour of Embassies under his control, he would return to a stack of security violations to process.  He was not happy with the numbers of violations that were being discovered in Abidjan .  As I remember just after Thanksgiving we had found some 80 violations and we bet him that we would have 100 by the end of year.  In winning the bet, I wrote number 100 on him.

Fred L.Neblitt USMC Ret.:  I arrived in Abidjan in Feb. 1970. They were building a new embassy, and Jim Jeune, Bob Kuhn and I were the construction guards. I was a Cpl. I left in July 70 to serve in Dhahran until Feb. 72.
1969

Ambassador: John F. Root (1969-74)
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:
GySgt. Pat A. Verdglio
Watchstanders: Sgt. Mike Dison,  Sgt. Robert P. Munster,  Sgt. Ronald Inboden,  Cpl. Jerry F. Ongley,

1968

Ambassador: George A. Morgan (1965-1969)
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:
GySgt. Pat A. Verdglio 
Watchstanders: Sgt. Mike Dison,  Sgt. Robert P. Munster,  Sgt. Ronald Inboden,  Cpl. Jerry F. Ongley,

1967

Ambassador: George A. Morgan (1965-1969)
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:

Watchstanders: 
Côte d'Ivoire was one of the few African states to recognize Biafra during the Nigerian civil war  this action, as well as Houphouët-Boigny's  association with white-ruled South Africa,caused strained relationships with other African nations.
1966

Ambassador: George A. Morgan (1965-1969)
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:
GySgt. Andersen
Watchstanders: LCpl. Hoffman, 

1965

Ambassador: George A. Morgan (1965-1969)
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:
GySgt. Andersen
Watchstanders:Cpl. Martin, Cpl. Richard McGuinness, LCpl. William Roth, LCpl. Dennis Danielson, LCpl. Hoffman, 

1964

Ambassador: James Wine (1962-1965) 
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:
SSgt. Charles Mungle           ANCOIC: Sgt. Gerald D. Hollenbeck
Watchstanders: Sgt. Raymond L. Kunkle, L/Cpl. Louis Shorette & Cpl. Martin, LCpl. Richard McGuinness
Richard McGuinness:  I believe that I was the eleventh Marine to serve at this young post. I replaced Sgt. Kunkle. I was still a teenager. What a great opportunity!! I do recall the arrival of former MSG Paul Nugnes. He worked in the communications section on the third floor. He brought a wonderful  (and pregnant) wife named Sue.  I recall that his next post was Moscow. I still have the Christmas card from 1967.  I remember the arrival of the Peace Corps. They came in great numbers.  Some would come to the Marine House to socialize.  Soon they would be scattered about the country.  We lived behind the USIS building.  We had our own security guard who was a local armed with a spear. He was a very interesting fellow and a veteran of the war in Vietnam when the French were fighting in the 1950's. He was only there during the hours of darkness. Once or twice a week, the Marines would run the movies in the USIS building for the Ambassador and other Americans assigned to Abidjan.

In our off time, we frequented a section of the City called "The Plateau." This area was very European with sidewalk cafes, restaurants and the "Scotch Club."  It was just a short walk from the Marine House.  There was a central park in the Plateau. One pleasant day while sitting at a cafe sipping a tuborg, there was a low fly over by fighter jets. The sudden noise scared everyone, but especially the large sleeping bats hanging all over the park in trees. The local French said they were French Air Force, but I knew better since we had a Carrier just outside the port on a goodwill visit. It had escorts in port and we were able to use their ships store. That was good since I was able to buy a 35mm camera at a very good price.

Other activities included a restaurant club with a nice pool just down the road. We used the pool at the Hotel Ivoire often. The Marines were the only ones with access to a Cabin cruiser docked at a marina not far from the Marine House. We would occasionally use it to water ski on the Lagoon. That wooden boat was maybe 25 foot and loaded with gas cans (full). They said it was part of an evacuation plan. I do not believe it would carry many people. The embassy had a C37 used by the Air Force Attache. It, too, was for evacuation.
1963

Ambassador: James Wine (1962-1965) 
Company Commander:  
NCOIC:
SSgt. Harold Johnson       A/NCOIC  Sgt. Gerald D. Hollenbeck
Watchstanders: Sgt. Raymond L. Kunkle, Sgt Danny Williams,  L/Cpl Louis Shorette, Cpl Vernon Smith, Cpl. Stewart Grant & Cpl. Martin,  
DOS Friends of the Detachment:  Frank and Judy Hearne.
(Frank was a communicator when I got there and was then made GSO.)
Became member of  Organization of African Unity
1962

Ambassador: James Wine (1962-1965) 
RSO: Ed Boston
Company Commander:
 
NCOIC:
SSgt. Harold Johnson 
Watchstanders: Sgt. Danny Williams, Cpl. Stewart Grant, Cpl. Vernon Smith,  L/Cpl. Louis Shorette
S. Grant -  MSG Detachment activated on or about 09-21-1962 with the arrival of Cpl. Grant.  Cpl.  Smith arrived a  few days later.        
1961

Ambassador:  R. Borden Reams (1960-1962)
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:

Watchstanders: 

1960

Ambassador:  R. Borden Reams (1960-1962)
Company Commander: 
NCOIC:

Watchstanders: 
Côte d'Ivoire withdrew from the French Community and declared itself independent.  

INDEPENDENCE AND THE ONE-PARTY SYSTEM

In 1959 several West African members of the French Community formed the Mali Federation. Although the federation initially included Senegal, French Sudan, Upper Volta, and Dahomey, all but Senegal and French Sudan withdrew quickly under pressure from Houphouët-Boigny, who regarded the federation's desire for independence from France as a threat to the economic development of the former French colonies. Nonetheless, the federation gained independence in June 1960 and split into the two independent nations of Senegal and Mali.

Meanwhile, to counterbalance the Mali Federation, HouphouëtBoigny in 1959 successfully convinced several other West African leaders to form the Council of the Entente (Conseil de l'Entente-- Entente)--a loose grouping that included Niger, Dahomey (presentday Benin), Upper Volta (present-day Burkina Faso), and Côte d'Ivoire--to pool their resources for economic development.

Houphouët-Boigny's argument against independence quickly lost its appeal among other members of the French Community following the independence of Senegal and Mali. In addition, in early 1960 the French government sponsored an amendment to the 1958 constitution that permitted community members to gain complete independence but remain within the community. Houphouët-Boigny was opposed to this reconstituted community, which he considered a new federation, and in August 1960 Côte d'Ivoire withdrew from the community and became independent. Houphouët-Boigny was the first head of state.

On October 31, 1960, the National Assembly of Côte d'Ivoire adopted a constitution establishing an independent republic. Those involved in the drafting of the Constitution, including HouphouëtBoigny and other PDCI members, wanted to establish a strong and stable government based on democratic principles. They also wanted a presidential system based on the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government and an independent judiciary. In practice, however, a gap developed between the democratic principles written into the Constitution and political practice. The PDCI leadership equated national unity with unanimous support for the PDCI and believed that competition among political parties would waste resources and destroy unity. Therefore, election provisions made it almost impossible for another party to win seats in the National Assembly. As the sole political party, the PDCI came to exercise political control over all branches of government.

By the late 1960s, power was concentrated in the hands of Houphouët-Boigny, who, in addition to his position as president, was also titular president of the PDCI. Loyal colleagues received positions of authority within the police and armed forces, as well as in the government and PDCI. Philippe Yacé, who held the positions of secretary general of the PDCI and president of the National Assembly, was the second most powerful figure in Côte d'Ivoire. The president appointed the administrative heads of the 6 departments (départements), 24 prefectures (préfectures), and 107 subprefectures (souspréfectures ), which constituted the administration of Côte d'Ivoire. Houphouët-Boigny also selected the thirty-five members of the Economic and Social Council (Conseil Economique et Social), a government body, and, with the Political Bureau, chose the members of the National Assembly.

Houphouët-Boigny further consolidated his power by circumscribing the prerogatives of the National Assembly. Presidential and PDCI control of assembly membership precluded an independent or opposition role by the assembly in the decision-making process. At the same time, the existence of an assembly with responsibility for approving proposed laws legitimized the government's democratic pretensions. Moreover, the PDCI used the assembly as a means of co-opting potential government opponents and securing their loyalty by providing deputies with a variety of privileges and amenities. Finally, the government channeled its major decisions through the assembly to the ethnic and interest groups that its members supposedly represented, thereby again giving the appearance of legitimate government.

Houphouët-Boigny also took steps to ensure the new regime's security. Although Côte d'Ivoire had no military until more than a year after independence, one was finally organized and strengthened with French assistance. Ivoirian members of the French colonial marine infantry who had been born in Côte d'Ivoire were transferred to Abidjan in October 1961 and formed the core of the first battalion. By late 1962, the military comprised about 5,300 soldiers organized into four battalions.      

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1950

In October 1946 at a conference in Bamako 800 delegates from French West Africa and Equatorial Africa led by Félix Houphouet-Boigny formed a federation of political parties called the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA). However, Moutet, the French Socialist Minister of Colonies, persuaded the socialists Gueye, Léopold Sédar Senghor, and Yacine Diallo not to attend the conference at Bamako. After Apithy and Fily Dabo withdrew, the RDA remained strong only in the Ivory Coast and Upper Volta. In September 1948 Senghor broke with Gueye and the SFIO and founded the Bloc Démocratique Sénégalais (BDS) party. In 1950 France made a Trusteeship Agreement with Togo and agreed to “progressive development towards self-government or independence.” By 1950 the RDA had 700,000 members and dominated the Ivory Coast, Mali, Guinea, Cameroun, and Chad, and it was the leading party in Volta, Niger, and Congo. In the Sudan their main supporters came from the Hamallist followers of Cheick Hammalah, who had been deported to France three times before dying there in prison in 1942. By 1950 French West Africa was 34% Muslim compared to only 4.5% Christian

1949


 

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