The Republic of Cote d'Ivoire has an estimated population of 21.6 million (UN, 2010). The capital is Yamoussoukro. Ivory Coast has an area of 322,462 sq km (124,503 sq miles). The main languages are French, and indigenous languages.
In 1960, Cote d'Ivoire became independent from France. It was once considered as one of Africa’s most stable countries. Cote d'Ivoire is the world's leading producer of cocoa. The production of cocoa for export and foreign investment made Cote d'Ivoire the most prosperous countries in West Africa. Since 2002, the country has been plagued by a civil war, which split the country between North and South, and thousands of people have been killed. The north is under rebel control and the government controls the south. In 2007, a peace deal was signed and a power sharing agreement was reached between the government and the rebels.
The civil war in Cote d'Ivoire has led to an increase of sexual violence against women and girls in the both the north and south of the country.