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March 4, 2011 Permalink

Ivory Coast: Fears of a civil war intensify

The three-month long conflict in Ivory Coast has entered a particularly bloody stage. Nearly 400 people have been killed in the west African country, including 32 on March 3 alone, almost all of them men who had voted for opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, according to UN figures. International groups and most nations recognized Ouattara as the legitimate leader of the country after elections late last year. But Laurent Gbagbo refuses to turn over the government and loyal forces have brutally attacked Ouattara supporters. Hundreds of civilians have fled their homes trying to avoid the clashes between the two sides. International observers fear the nation is on the verge of a civil war. -- Lloyd Young (28 photos total)

Protesters set up a fiery roadblock in the Abobo area of Abidjan March 3. Ivorian security forces and tanks, backing incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, opened fire on a rally of hundreds of unarmed women in Abobo. Seven protesters were killed. The massacre was the latest of clashes that have erupted in the west African country since a disputed election on Nov. 28 that Alassane Ouattara won, according to international election groups, regional African organizations, and most nations. About 300 people had been killed in the violence, and there are fears of a return to civil war. (Luc Gnago/Reuters)
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68 comments so far...

Excellent Photos.
Amongst all the pain, suffering and unrest, its still good to see people continue the fight for their freedom across the world.

Posted by Bryan March 4, 11 12:45 PM

#12 makes me so happy...

Posted by Joe March 4, 11 12:56 PM

Amazing pictures........

Posted by Sam Shen March 4, 11 01:14 PM

Époustouflant... COURAGE!

Une française de tout coeur avec vous!

Posted by Lucille March 4, 11 01:36 PM

Nice pictures!

Posted by Julian March 4, 11 01:46 PM

Very sad to see. I feel for these people. Not long ago it would have been just another news article in a paper. This brings it right into our faces. The internet is the most powerful tool ever, to uncover what repressive regimes have hidden from the rest of the world. Transparency will educate us. Humbly, Ed.

Posted by Edgar Helbling March 4, 11 01:50 PM

Very sad to see. I feel for these people. Not long ago it would have been just another news article in a paper. This brings it right into our faces. The internet is the most powerful tool ever, to uncover what repressive regimes have hidden from the rest of the world. Transparency will educate us. Humbly, Ed.

Posted by Edgar Helbling March 4, 11 01:51 PM

Its terribly sad..

Posted by Ravi Prakash March 4, 11 01:57 PM

Est-ce qu'un jour enfin les urnes aurons raison de ces dictateurs africains ? et des multinationales qui pillent l'Afrique depuis la colonisation ? que faire pour aider ces peuples qui ne savent plus qui croire ?
Bien loin de là, d'autres révolutions sont en marche... a nous faire oublier ce peuple de Cote d'Ivoire... si vous plait épargnez vous une guerre civile, préférez une révolution.
Merci pour ces images.

Posted by greg March 4, 11 02:04 PM

Lorsque les Blancs sont venus en Afrique, nous avions les terres et ils avaient la Bible. Ils nous ont appris à prier les yeux fermés: lorsque nous les avons ouverts, les Blancs avaient les terres et nous la Bible.

Citations de Jomo Kenyatta

Posted by Dorian Elenicht March 4, 11 02:29 PM


truly so sad that this needs to happen. when will people learn?

Posted by joe blow March 4, 11 02:30 PM

Lloyd Young....I'm pretty sure that's a girl in picture # 10. The feminine facial features, earrings & dress kinda give it away, I'm just sayin'.

Posted by rhythmMAN March 4, 11 02:37 PM

i guess it's time for Africa to wake up. They had enough already.

Posted by eMeS March 4, 11 02:52 PM

I hope, that there'll be one night, in which every human in this world sleeps peacefully! But I now, this day is so far away from now.. what a tragedy!

#5 scares me!

Posted by Hannah March 4, 11 03:04 PM

This is just as bad of a situation as Libya. What can we do to help? What can other countries do to help?

Posted by -E March 4, 11 03:09 PM

why do Africans always burn tires. I mean the one in Haiti also do this. And civil war are so Africans as well... it's like a never ending story. Just like Israel-Jerusalem-US problem, another sample of a never ending (real) story

Posted by Rizky March 4, 11 03:12 PM

As long as there are developing countries that keep themselves on a low economical level by bad governance etc the western lifestyle can stay affordable... It is not the main fault of kurrupt and brutal governments in Africa. It's the fault of the rest of the world... yeah, its our fault. Not in a way that the one or the other might expect it to be but more in an development aid, that is not really interested in actual development. It just holds up some strange sort of dependance. I'm not blaming a specific nation... I blame consumers, I blame me and you!
Hope people don't get this wrong...

Posted by Sitzsack March 4, 11 03:16 PM

very strange that whole africa is unrest.....all at the same time???

Posted by vim March 4, 11 03:19 PM


Posted by Pharinha March 4, 11 03:24 PM

#10 is a girl... and a cutie patootie.

Posted by Leila March 4, 11 03:24 PM

Very disturbing images :(

Posted by Atta Baloch March 4, 11 03:33 PM

Sad Pictures

Posted by hadi March 4, 11 03:37 PM


Posted by Michele March 4, 11 03:41 PM

Wow, things are looking grim for the people of Ivory coast.
The world needs education! If humans can construct a hydron collider they are well able to solve this crisis.
Humans are super creations of nature, people seem to forget that.

Posted by Mr T March 4, 11 04:19 PM

WOW. a true insight of a world so far yet so close to ours. God Bless Them.

Posted by George March 4, 11 04:23 PM

The Associated Press has been contacted about the gender of the child in image #10. The caption will be updated as needed when confirmation is made. Thanks for the feedback.

Lloyd Young (The Big Picture)

Posted by Lloyd Young March 4, 11 04:45 PM

These picture collections haven't been as hard-hitting lately. Something is amiss with the Big Picture Blog. Not saying these photos aren't important, but they just aren't as attention grabbing as they used to be.

Posted by Brian March 4, 11 04:59 PM

Thanks to The Big Picture for bringing this issue back to our attention.

Posted by Norbert March 4, 11 05:22 PM

The Associated Press has sent out a correction to identify the child in #10 as a girl.

Lloyd Young (The Big Picture)

Posted by Lloyd Young March 4, 11 06:09 PM

Excelentes imagenes. Lastimosa la verdad. Increible.

Posted by Diego March 4, 11 07:17 PM

#3 makes me so sad.
I think about The way of using fire.
The fire can help us or hurt us.
Too much fire make too much fear.

Posted by Joji March 4, 11 07:46 PM

Poor Cote D'Ivoire...You wouldnt imagine how harmonious this country was in the 90's.
Once known as the pearl of Africa and little Paris...these picture break my heart. Most of my teenage years were spent in Abidjan. I remember the city at its it just looks like a dumb....I Left before the coup in 99...I heard it has gone from bad in 99 to atrocity now...

African leaders wake up. The world is moving and we are standing one will wait for us....Wake up !!!!

Still waiting on the WP7 App "BIGPICTURE"

Posted by boris March 4, 11 07:51 PM


Posted by LEGACY March 4, 11 08:00 PM

Pretty sad... :( #12 makes me happy though...

Posted by Naveed March 4, 11 09:29 PM

Nice pictures,
so what is the purpose of the U.N. being there? Do they set up and secure a safe zone for civilians or just stand and watch as people massacre themselves. Shouldnt the U.N. be like a room monitor that keeps the kids in check and if someone really acts up, slaps their hand and tells them to stop. The U.N. is so pointless, in my humble opinion anyways.

Posted by raul briseno March 5, 11 02:21 AM

#12-Hope for the future?-yes!

Posted by ted kamprad March 5, 11 08:51 AM

11-12 apesar de todo son bellas fotos los niños son hermosos y son nuestro futuro .......lindas fotos ......... Dios los bendiga.......

Posted by lorena March 5, 11 09:58 AM

#5 is ironic. Protesting bloodshed by someone else while holding a machete? I can't even begin to understand the pain and trauma they have/are going through...but still. From the outside that just seems to keep the vicious cycle going.

Posted by Michael March 5, 11 12:45 PM

#12 shows where "normal" is! A mother washing her child, with love and water, and the child loving it and laughing.

Posted by Martin Levenson March 5, 11 02:22 PM

if democracy is the government of the people for the people and by the people, then gbagbo has got it wrong cos the people u want to rule are tire of u so it is better u safe the integrity for ur family future sake. shameless leader.

Posted by topman March 5, 11 06:40 PM

This is my country, I grew up there and it was so peaceful.. Power grid is something #thedevilinvented... I don't recognize my country... This is sad...

Ps: The pictures are awesome... Thx for us who aren't in Ivory Coast right now and monitoring vi Facebook and tweeter...

Posted by Romyna March 5, 11 10:11 PM

Nothing here you don't find in the inner cities and ghettos of America. Same images, different dress.

Posted by mallen March 6, 11 10:12 AM

#5 is ironic. Protesting bloodshed by someone else while holding a machete? I can't even begin to understand the pain and trauma they have/are going through...but still. From the outside that just seems to keep the vicious cycle going.

They are fighting for peace. Army opens fire on civilians to "disperse" them. If they do not use violence in return they have no power. That is sad, might be ironic as well, but the day their government fall they will only be thankful to their will, their courage, and their weapons.

Posted by C. March 6, 11 10:34 AM

Thank you for covering this crisis, there is not nearly enough press on this. Phenomenal photos.

Posted by mjack March 6, 11 02:47 PM

Felicitations pour ces photos qui nous presentent le reel visage de notre pays

Posted by Killer1492 March 6, 11 03:27 PM

loved No. 12.

Posted by Natalie March 6, 11 11:16 PM

A closer look at #26 reveals NY Yankees forces backing the dictatorial strongman. Unsurprising!

Posted by florey March 7, 11 03:39 AM

When i seen # 12 i thought that dust was flyin everywhere!!!! My opinoin though..... is that baby a boy or girl i couldnt tell????? But i love the world!!!!!

Posted by Dust flyin everywhere March 7, 11 10:08 AM

I find it ridiculous to show those pictures without explain the reality of what is going on in Ivory Coast...yes it's sad to see those pictures...but what is the press saying about the Banks closing without notice to their customers, about the Embargo on medications against the Ivory Coast...and all the other sanctions on the populations of Ivory Coast, just because 2 men are claiming to be president. So I want to see a report on that, instead of pictures of people dying, because they are going to die anyway if they can't eat, they can't get medications. And who is behind all this? Both Side are killing people and you choose to show only one side...when it's our families who are dying.

Posted by Jores March 7, 11 11:22 AM

It is always sad to watch people in the middle of that kind of conflicts, but watching the children there goes beyond. Everything just because of the greed of some stupids.

Posted by José Jiménez March 7, 11 11:41 AM

we humbly share the people in ivory coast their pain especially the innocent ones.God have mercy.

Posted by maria March 7, 11 12:20 PM

#12..welcome to the world..good luck, looks like you'll be needing it..seriously..

Posted by Charley Darwin March 7, 11 09:43 PM

thats the great pictures, i've just know how tragic haiti is........... bravo haiti

Posted by nugroho March 8, 11 07:14 AM

Tant qu'il y aura des hommes, la bêtise humaine fera loi

Posted by clida March 8, 11 01:04 PM

Monsieur GBagbo et Outara, C'est inhumain de croire et de se comporter comme si l'on était seul détenteur de la raison. La Cote d'Ivoire était en tête de l'Afrique à l'époque de Ouphouet Bueny. Mais hélas voulez vous nous dire de retourner dans la dictature que de pratiquer la démocratie? Les gens ont besoin de la paix.

Posted by Roger March 8, 11 03:19 PM

The children is guiltless .

Posted by Mius art mosaic March 9, 11 03:37 AM

UN why do you never do anything to help in this type of situation? Thanks for the pictures they explain the situation better than words. Loved No12, lets hope that by the time that baby is a little older all the violence will have been finished, with Gods help.

Posted by Mary Long March 9, 11 06:52 AM

no comment

Posted by Anonymous March 9, 11 09:22 AM

Trouble In Paradise: Chicanery in Cote d'Ivoire Presidential Elections
There are many misconceptions about what actually happened during the attempt at practicing
democracy in the great nation of Cote d'Ivoire. The dispute of who was voted to be the next president
has caused much misinformation to be written in well known periodicals who take the word of officials
who have been given a mandate to assure that the will of the Ivorian people NOT be respected but the
needs of western interests be honored.
Alassane Dramane Ouattara did not win the November 28th, 2010 election regardless of his party's use
of terrorist tactics against the Ivorian people's attempt to have free and fair elections. As you read this
essay what will be revealed to you are the facts of what actually happened on the ground in Cote
D'Ivoire before and during they day of election.
The area where the vote count was suspect is the northern part of Cote D'Ivoire. The Forces Nouvelles
has heavy influence in this section of the country. The democratic process was stained by violence to
the point whereas Coordination of the Observers from the International Mission of the African Civil
Society (COMISCA),The African Civil Society for democracy and Electoral Assistance (OSCADAE),
African Union (AU) and The Emissaries for the promotion of credible Elections in Africa (CEPECA)
questioned the veracity of the ballots “cast” in that part of the country.
It is documented that the Rassemblement des Republicaines (RDR) activists enacted rape, murder,
beatings, intimidation, threats of violence, kidnapping, vandalism, false imprisonment, destruction of
property, armed robbery, ballot box stuffing, refusal of entry of LMP representatives to the voting area,
detained LMP representatives, electioneering for the RDR presidential candidate in the polling stations,
RDR activists actually filled out the ballot for the voter to assure that their candidate is on that ballot
and forced LMP representatives detained to certify the “results”. Mr. Ouattara claimed in a recent
article on the United States State department website that he believes in democratic principles. Now
this may be a personal belief of his yet it seems that the members of his party and its armed wing didn't
get that memo.
Let's delve into more detail on what happened the day before the election and what happened during
the election. On Saturday November 27, 2010 LMP representatives were forbidden to enter the city of
Korhogo by the Forces Nouvelles. The Forces Nouvelles forcefully evicted LMP representatives and
stripped them of their goods and documents. Thus polling wasn't overseen in the city of Korohogo to
assure transparency as stated by Ivorian law. Voters where told to vote for Mr. Ouattara or suffer bodily
harm and even death by the Forces Nouvelles. These actions hardly subscribe to the proclamations of a
man who claims that he is for creating a democratic and peaceful state.
These acts were being carried out in the Korhogo District, Bouake District and the town of Bouake
The following are some of the stations affected by Forces Nouvelles terrorism:
The EPP Dar Es Salam 2
Lycee moderne 2
The Djezou Rails groupe scolaire
Yamousso Marie Therese High School
Groupe scolaire Aboliba 4BV
Foyer des jeunes de Koko 4BV
EPP Dar Es Salam 2 a 6 6BV
Modern Lyceum 2-5BV
Groupe scolaire CNPS 4BV
EPP Dar Es Salam 1-6BV
EPP Djezou Kouamekro 1
Berger Kindergarten
EPP Kotiakoffikro
EPP Kanontakpe
Saint Jacques School
EPP Dogouba
EPP Liberte
Groupe scolaire Bakassa
Groupe scolaire Paris Bouake
Groupe scolaire Annexe
Groupe scolaire Olienon
EPV protestant
Mohamed 5 Modern Lyceum
Groupe scolaire Belleville
Belleville Modern Lyceum
College moderne jeunes filles
EPP Military camp
Groupe scolaire Belleville Nord
LMP campaign headquarters were attacked by Forces Nouvelles the day before the polls were opened.
In the Savana, Denguele, Bafing, Worodougou regions and Bandama Valley Forces Nouvelles were
traveling by motorcycle making wholesale threats promising to kill anyone who would vote for Mr.
Laurent Gbagbo.
COMISCA, made up of twenty-one NGOs, stated “...that the ballot credibility in the above mentioned
areas is strongly marred.” AU noted “...serious acts of violence, namely losses of human lives,
infringement of physical integrity, intimidations, and abductions attempts and damage to the electoral
material. So many facts that should be object to a careful assessment from the competent institutions,
so as to determine their impact on the ballots.” OSCADAE reported, “...the credibility of the polling
was strongly called into question in some of the above mentioned places.” Those places being
Korhogo, Touba, Bouake, Mankono, Seguela, Odienne, Tingrela, and Maddinani. CEPECA witnessed,
“...activists and representatives of candidate Laurent Gbagbo were prevented from voting freely and
supervising the voting process, ex-rebels took some ballots boxes to unknown places, there was
stuffing of ballots boxes on a large scale, ...some voting section agents gave orders favoring the RDR
“Considering the above mentioned facts the freedom and the transparency of the voting process in
those regions are strongly called into question....the credibility of the ballots in the Savannah regions
most of all in Korhogo as badly tarnished.”
According to agreement the Forces Nouvelles were suppose to disarm before the elections. We now
see why they were reluctant to give up their weapons. Words alone do not show an organization's
intentions one must also judge them by their practice.
When all the votes were gathered the sitting President Laurent Gbagbo presented to the Electoral
Independent Committee (EIC) a complaint informing the EIC of these irregularities and requested that
those votes which came from the zones controlled by Forces Nouvelles be invalidated; a reasonable
After reviewing the complaint and the information of the irregularities by independent observers the
EIC became deadlocked on the complaint thus they didn't announce the “provisional results” of the
elections which is within Ivorian law. The final and certified conclusion can only be given by The
Constitutional Council (CC) according to the Ivorian Constitution. The Ivorian Constitution states that
the CC proclamation in respect to the electoral results are final and without recourse. No provisional
election results were announced by the EIC within the three day legally given time for such to be done.
Now it was up to the CC to decide by legal mandate as prescribed by the Ivorian Constitution. In the
mean time Mr.Youssouf Bakayoko was persuaded to carry out an illegal act which controverted the
Ivorian Constitution by naming Mr. Ouattara the “winner” of the election. He was not alone in this
action. It seems that the US Ambassador Phillip Carter III, French Ambassador Jean-Marc-Simon and
Y.J. Choi UN Envoy conspired to bring Mr.Youssouf Bakayoko to the Golf Hotel where Mr. Ouattara
was illegally announced the winner of the election. These “results” were certified by the UN Envoy Y.J.
Choi then Mr. Ouattara was installed in the eyes of the US, France, Britain, Canada and others.
While this charade was being enacted. President Elect Laurent Gbagbo was installed as per the Ivorian
Constitution. This act has caused the West to portray their illegal activity as a crisis.
The rest of the world is waiting to see how the Ivorian people are acting in this crises situation. As
usual the threat of violence is being vented towards the Ivorian people. What Western interests may or
may not understand is that this isn't just an Ivorian issue it is a global issue. When does the UN, and its
backers, become the king maker to the extent were it subverts the sovereignty of a nation and imposes
its chosen one against the will of the people. When does the UN side with those who make a charade of
the democratic process when it is obvious that the elections were rigged through the use of terrorism by
those who do not have the interest of the Ivorian people at hand and is only looking for self enrichment
by siding with past colonial masters who act like vampires sucking the life force by getting the natural
resources at dirt cheap pricing to maintain economic poverty as the word and act of the day. These
negative forces have been sowing the practice of political instability on the continent of Africa for the
past five hundred years by creating antagonisms between North and South, Muslims against Christians,
one ethnic group against another.
It seems as if the Ivorian people have awakened to the sleight of hand that the West and its
compradores have played and they refuse to have their nation sold once again on the auction block to
continue the hegemonic relationship. Instead they have chosen to create their own path to assure their
independence and development without the permission of past and present exploiters and oppressors.
Africa is listening and watching and so is the rest of the world.

Posted by Bob March 9, 11 05:38 PM

a-mazing!! Intense pictures!

Posted by Line Sondergaard March 10, 11 01:24 PM

Merci Bob pour cette superbe explication/ Malheureusement, la force des médias ayant emboîté le pas de la forfaiture de l'ONU, ton cri semble étouffé à la sortie de ta bouche et personne ne l'entendra.
Et pourtant, c'est la vérité. Celle que personne ici en occident veut entendre, trop préoccupé par le prix du pétrole, la hausse des prix, le chômage...
Les Ivoiriens se retrouvent seuls devant une machine de guerre impitoyable payée par nos deniers.
L’Afrique est compressée dans les conflits pour le contrôle des matières premières et dont les acteurs principaux sont les USA, l'UE, la Chine, la Russie et l'Inde.
Il n'y a personne en Afrique qui lèvera le petit doigt pour aller au secours de la Côte d'Ivoire. La plupart des pays sont empêtrés eux même dans des conflits internes résultant justement d'élections truquées comme au Sénégal, Burkina Fasso, Tchad, Togo, Gabon.
Il y a bien que l'Afrique du Sud qui aurait pu intervenir si il ne briguait pas un siège permanent au conseil de sécurité de l'ONU. Cette perspective leur a fait aussi abandonner la Côte d'Ivoire à son triste sort.
Aujourd'hui 11 mars 2011, l'UA a vendu une fois de plus son âme aux occidentaux, ignorant par cette décision, les nombreux morts qui vont suivre avec l'aide de l'ONU et de la France avec les militaires de l'opération Licorne, sans compter les mercenaires recrutés de part et d'autre, ainsi que des soldats de l'ECOMOG infiltrés dans le pays au coté des rebelles de Ouattara.
La vérité arrivera surement un jour, mais les morts n'en auront que faire.

Silence, on tue en Côte d'Ivoire.

Christian Bailly-Grandvaux

Posted by Christian Bailly-Grandvaux March 11, 11 12:13 PM

And what does the world do? Apply sanctions!!! How silly and lame. Sanctions will only lead to more bloodshed because its the ordinary people that feels the influence of sanctions the most. When these ordinary people cant sell their products to sustain themselves they will no doubt turn to violence.

Posted by Geoffrey Morgan March 11, 11 04:11 PM

the best approach to conflict resolution is never violence but rather dialogue, so ivorians (from both parties) should embrace it and stop maiming lives they can't create.

Posted by obochi kingsley March 11, 11 04:48 PM

Dialogue, when one party refuses to talk? When both parties refuse to talk? Now what?

Posted by Peter Carels March 12, 11 01:47 PM

This is logic that everybody should understand,the voting is over you lost give way,hand over to ensure peace.this is barbaric.

Posted by Abdul Karim Bassit March 20, 11 01:48 PM

UN has always delayed in helping to avoid bloodshed! Our own Kofi Annan of Ghana delayed so much to cause so much bloodshed in East Timor.

In case of Libya what is the window dressing by bombing "seless" targets and to leave the real target of Ghadaffi and his Government.

What is the use to leave Gbagbo to walk free and rather caause so much death of civilians? The window dressing by world leaders is a falacy of righteousness.

Posted by Sword of Mohammed March 21, 11 04:35 PM

I like the picture of a child taking a nice bath with her mother..

Posted by mark drilon, Philippines March 22, 11 05:44 AM

pictures are so great,very truly expressed the situations at the places where all the happend in the world.
shahzad from wahcantt

Posted by shahzad March 23, 11 04:27 AM
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