"Côte d'Ivoire has entered a renewed period of extreme political instability, accompanied by significant political violence, following a contested presidential election designed to cap an often forestalled peace process. The election was held under the terms of the 2007 Ouagadougou Political Agreement, the most recent in a series of partially implemented peace accords aimed at reunifying Côte d'Ivoire, which has remained largely divided between a government-controlled southern region and a rebel-controlled zone in the north since the outbreak of a civil war in 2002. A sharp uptick in armed clashes in late February 2011, among other indicators, signaled a heightened risk that a renewed war might break out. […] On November 28, 2010, a presidential election runoff vote was held between the incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, the two leading winners of a first-round poll a month earlier. Both claim to have won the runoff and separately inaugurated themselves as president and formed rival governments. […] The electoral standoff has caused a sharp rise in political tension and violence, deaths and human rights abuses, and spurred attacks on U.N. peacekeepers. The international community has broadly rejected Gbagbo's victory claim and endorsed Ouattara as the legally elected president. It is using diplomatic and financial efforts, sanctions, and a military intervention threat to pressure Gbagbo to step aside. H.Res. 85 would express congressional support for such ends. Top U.S officials have attempted to directly pressure Gbagbo to step down."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21989