The Economist has a very good analytical article on Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia. (Hat tip to @RealClearAfrica) Here’s an excerpt, though I think it’s a little misleading to imply that the hierarchies of these former rebel groups have remained strong since the war ended. (Can someone remind me who has written on that topic? Their name is escaping me at the moment.)
Two main groups [from Liberia] are involved [in Cote d’Ivoire’s crisis]. One comprises former members of the Movement for Democracy in Liberia, known as MODEL, a rebel group once based in Côte d’Ivoire and created by Mr Gbagbo. Back in the 1990s, he opposed the forces of Liberia’s bloodthirsty president, Charles Taylor…With a strong presence in and around Toe Town, MODEL’s fighters hail from Mr Gbagbo’s Krahn tribe.
The second Liberian group that has popped up again, previously known as the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, was once sponsored by Mr Taylor, who backed Côte d’Ivoire’s northern rebels in their vain effort to oust Mr Gbagbo during the Ivorian civil war in 2002. Abandoned at the end of that conflict, this group’s militia has swapped sides to fight for Mr Gbagbo.
And the article makes a point I hadn’t thought of:
Liberia has its own elections in October. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female head of state, seems likely to be re-elected. But opposition politicians may be tempted to use gunmen returning from Côte d’Ivoire to stir up trouble.