The Unicorn operation in the Ivory Coast

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The bloody conflict in the Ivory Coast was subjected to various interpretations, which influenced France’s perception and relationship with the actors of the crisis. Beyond a political strategy that appeared as fluctuating, the methods of the French involvement in Ivory Coast seem to break with the practices of the past; henceforth, they are to be included in the framework of a new doctrine of crisis management in African countries. This evolution, that has been underlying since the mid-1990s, has paradoxically allowed France to strengthen its military presence on the African continent while encrusting its interventions in the panoply of regional and international mechanisms of conflict prevention and conflict settlement. This new doctrine crystallized with the help of the « Unicorn operation » in a global strategy of crisis management combining research of a political solution (the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement), diplomacy and integration of the military component in the framework of regional (ECOWAS) and global (United Nations) mechanisms of collective security. – Summary AFRI-2004