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Côte d'Ivoire:
Geography

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Côte d'Ivoire Page


Other pages in this profile of Côte d'Ivoire:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
Close ties to France since independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment made Cote d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the West African states, but did not protect it from political turmoil. In December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Cote d'Ivoire's history - overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert GUEI blatantly rigged elections held in late 2000 and declared himself the winner. Popular protest forced him to step aside and brought Laurent GBAGBO into power. Ivorian dissidents and disaffected members of the military launched a failed coup attempt in September 2002. Rebel forces claimed the northern half of the country, and in January 2003 were granted ministerial positions in a unity government under the auspices of the Linas-Marcoussis Peace Accord. President GBAGBO and rebel forces resumed implementation of the peace accord in December 2003 after a three-month stalemate, but issues that sparked the civil war, such as land reform and grounds for citizenship, remained unresolved. In March 2007 President GBAGBO and former New Force rebel leader Guillaume SORO signed the Ouagadougou Political Agreement. As a result of the agreement, SORO joined GBAGBO's government as Prime Minister and the two agreed to reunite the country by dismantling the zone of confidence separating North from South, integrate rebel forces into the national armed forces, and hold elections. Several thousand French and UN troops remain in Cote d'Ivoire to help the parties implement their commitments and to support the peace process.
Location
Definition
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia
Geographic coordinates
Definition
8 00 N, 5 00 W
Map references
Definition
Africa
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 322,460 sq km
land: 318,000 sq km
water: 4,460 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly larger than New Mexico
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 3,110 km
border countries: Burkina Faso 584 km, Ghana 668 km, Guinea 610 km, Liberia 716 km, Mali 532 km
Coastline
Definition
515 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
tropical along coast, semiarid in far north; three seasons - warm and dry (November to March), hot and dry (March to May), hot and wet (June to October)
Terrain
Definition
mostly flat to undulating plains; mountains in northwest
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Gulf of Guinea 0 m
highest point: Mont Nimba 1,752 m
Natural resources
Definition
petroleum, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, copper, gold, nickel, tantalum, silica sand, clay, cocoa beans, coffee, palm oil, hydropower
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 10.23%
permanent crops: 11.16%
other: 78.61% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
730 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
81 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 0.93 cu km/yr (24%/12%/65%)
per capita: 51 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
coast has heavy surf and no natural harbors; during the rainy season torrential flooding is possible
Environment - current issues
Definition
deforestation (most of the country's forests - once the largest in West Africa - have been heavily logged); water pollution from sewage and industrial and agricultural effluents
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
most of the inhabitants live along the sandy coastal region; apart from the capital area, the forested interior is sparsely populated


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