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Highly prized for its abundance of natural resources during colonial times, the Cote d'Ivoire, or the Ivory Coast, has continued to be closely tied to France since winning independence in 1960. Controversy developed in the country after a military coup in 1999 established a government elected through rigged results. After this government was overturned by popular protest, fighting continued between government and rebel forces. A ceasefire in 2003 has been enforced by the continued presence of French and West African peacekeeping forces. The Cote d'Ivoire is among the world's major exporters of coffee, cocoa beans, and palm oil, and oil production is expected to reach over 200,000 barrels per day by 2010. Other natural resources include natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, ...

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