The Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), located in west Africa on the Gulf of Guinea, is approximately 125,000 square miles in area and shares borders with Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Ghana. Of its population of 20 million, over 25 percent are foreign, including many from Burkina Faso, and the primary religions are Muslim (38.6 percent) and Christian (32.8 percent).

A former French colony, it became independent in 1960, and for years was among the most prosperous of African countries. However, the country has been destabilized following a military coup in 1999 and a failed coup in 2002, followed by civil war through 2004. A peace settlement was signed in March 2007, and peacekeepers from France and the United Nations remain in the country. Conditions that ...

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