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January 24, 2011

Ivory Coast's election stalemate

Ivory Coast has two governments, one clinging to power while the international community insists that it must go, the other barricaded inside a hotel protected by barbed wire and the blue helmets of a UN peacekeeping force. Laurent Gbagbo's term in office expired five years ago, and the long-delayed election appeared to have ousted him from power. He has refused to leave. His opponent, Alassane Ouattara, has the support of world leaders, but not of Ivory Coast's military. And so the election stalemate continues, international sanctions slow the economy, and post-election violence has claimed the lives of over 200 people. Collected here are photographs of the campaign, the vote, post-election violence, and daily life in Ivory Coast, a West African nation of 21 million. -- Lane Turner (39 photos total)

Supporters of incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo raise their hands in a show of support at a rally in the Yopougon district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Falikou Dosso displays his newly-acquired voter ID, as distribution of electoral cards begins in the Plateau neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast October 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Emmanuel Ekra) #

Supporters of incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo wear body paint during his final campaign rally in Abidjan, Ivory Coast October 29, 2010 on the last day of campaigning. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

Former prime minister Alassane Ouattara waves to supporters during a final campaign parade through the Treichville neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast October 29, 2010. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

Supporters of presidential candidate and former President Henri Konan Bedie demonstrate outside his headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast November 4, 2010. Bedie was toppled in 1999 during the nation's first coup. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

Voters wait in line outside a polling station to cast their ballots in the first round of presidential elections in Abidjan, Ivory Coast November 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

A woman casts her ballot in the first round of presidential elections in Abidjan, Ivory Coast October 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

A resident of a village without a school to serve as a polling station fills out her ballot in a specially-constructed wood and reed shelter in Bobo, on the outskirts of the former rebel stronghold of Bouake, in northern Ivory Coast October 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

Poll workers and political party representatives tally votes by the light of a battery-powered lamp after the close of polls at a voting station on the outskirts of the former rebel stronghold of Bouake in northern Ivory Coast October 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

A group of young men watch the announcement of final provisional presidential election results shortly after midnight on the streets of a closed-up Bouake in northern Ivory Coast November 4, 2010. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo looks up during his swearing-in ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast December 4, 2010. Gbagbo was sworn in for a new term even though the United Nations and world leaders maintain his opponent won the disputed election, which was the West African nation's first since a civil war. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

Young men hold hands as they stand in front of a street fire set by supporters of opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara in protest of incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to leave office, in the Koumassi neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast December 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

United Nations peacekeepers guard the Golf Hotel, headquarters of internationally recognised leader Alassane Ouattara. Defiant Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo's most notorious lieutenant on December 29 urged the strongman's diehard supporters to launch an unarmed assault on Ouattara's UN-defended base. (SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images) #

Christian women attend a prayer for peace December 27, 2010 at Republic Square in Abidjan, as Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo warned in an interview that a French-US "plot" to refuse to recognise him as Ivory Coast's legitimate leader was pushing the country towards civil war. Several international leaders, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, have warned that Gbagbo's stubbornness could plunge Ivory Coast back into civil war. A West African bloc has meanwhile threatened military action against him. (SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images) #

Covered in clay, a supporter of Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo carries her child during a rally in Abidjan December 29, 2010. The European Union will tighten sanctions against Gbagbo, expanding a list of his supporters to be targeted after a disputed election. (REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon) #

An Ivory Coast soldier stands guard during a rally held by Charles Ble Goude (unseen), leader of Ivory Coast's Young Patriots in Abidjan December 29, 2010. (SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images) #

A woman balances sachets of water for sale on her head on a beach in Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba) #

Men load soft drinks, water, and bed linen into a UN helicopter ferrying supplies and visitors to the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 4, 2011. Alassane Ouattara is attempting to govern from the hotel where he and his staff are barricaded behind sandbags and giant coils of razor wire. Getting supplies to the Golf Hotel has become increasingly difficult, and the UN started running daily flights that land on the lawn with vegetables and powdered milk. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

A sniper stands guard over a public square ahead of the arrival of Charles Ble Goude, a youth leader recently named to Laurent Gbagbo's cabinet who is staging rallies in support of the incumbent president, in the Koumassi neighborhood of Abidjan January 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

A young animal seller rides a horse at Abidjan's largest animal market, in Port Bouet on the outskirts of Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 7, 2011. Vendors say the country's crisis has stemmed the flow of sheep, goats, and cattle from Ivory Coast's northern neighbors and increased transport costs. Residents complain that they are struggling to cope with higher prices for essentials such as meat, cooking oil, and public transit. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

A man drinks a beer January 7, 2011 at a local bar in the Marcory quarter of Abidjan. Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo's stand-off with the world intensified after Britain and Canada rejected his expulsion of their envoys, insisting they only recognise his rival. (SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images) #

Men unload a truck full of cocoa beans into a depot before being sold to exporters January 8, 2011 in San Pedro, Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast is the world's largest producer of cocoa beans, and much of the nation's economy depends on the exports. (Jane Hahn for the New York Times) #

A supporter of incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, wearing body paint reading "Peace," reacts during an event at the Palace of Culture in Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

Supporters of incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo react at the arrival of Charles Ble Goude, unseen, a longtime leader of the party's youth and now a minister in Gbagbo's Cabinet, at a rally in the Yopougon district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

Bangladeshi UN soldiers sit on an armored vehicle during a patrol in Abidjan January 9, 2011. (REUTERS/Luc Gnago) #

Men unload bananas from a truck at Gouro market in Abidjan January 10, 2011. (REUTERS/ Thierry Gouegnon) #

People look for valuable material in a trash dump that has not been emptied in two weeks in the Plateau Dokui neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 10, 2011. Due to the ongoing political crisis many government services have not been tended to, leaving large piles of trash around the city spilling onto streets and blocking roads. (Jane Hahn for the New York Times) #

A rebel fighter holds a knife as he stands watch for security forces on a street in the Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 11, 2011. Security forces loyal to Ivory Coast's incumbent leader fired volleys of gunshots, leaving at least four people dead after they cordoned off a large section of a neighborhood known to be his rival's stronghold. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

Young supporters of Laurent Gbagbo advance toward an arriving United Nations convoy, unseen, in the Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 11, 2011. UN peacekeepers retreated from a neighborhood where security forces loyal to incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo had opened fire, turning around at least nine vehicles after dozens of angry young men barred the route. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

An unexploded grenade lies on a street in the Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan January 11, 2011. Police raided the neighborhood, which is loyal to Alassane Ouattara in the early morning hours leaving at least four dead. (Jane Hahn for the New York Times) #

Local residents look on as the body of a man killed by gunfire lies covered in a side street of the Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 11, 2011. Security forces loyal to Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to cede power, fired volleys of gunshots leaving at least four people dead after they cordoned off a large section of a neighborhood known to be his rival's stronghold. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

People hurry across a normally busy street, now devoid of cars, as gunshots ring out several blocks away in the Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 12, 2011. Security forces loyal to the sitting president who is refusing to cede power descended on an opposition stronghold and opened fire for the second time in as many days, only hours after opposition supporters had taken to the streets in protest. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

Local residents look into the cab of a burnt truck in the Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 13, 2011. Daily life was resuming in the opposition stronghold neighborhood, which had seen deadly clashes between security forces and residents in the past two days. The head of the army warned that his troops reserve the right to retaliate, raising concerns about more violence amid Ivory Coast's political crisis. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

Local residents walk past the burnt shell of a car in the Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

A woman buys food in Abidjan January 13, 2011 on the main road of the Abobo neighborhood, a district largely loyal to strongman Laurent Gbagbo's rival for the presidency, Alassane Ouattara. Parts of Abidjan were under a curfew imposed by Gbagbo in districts loyal to his rival for the presidency, where at least 11 people have died in recent unrest. (SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images) #

People walk past makeshift street barricades, which the residents use to block off roads at night in order to slow down security forces, in the opposition stronghold PK18 area of Abobo in Abidjan, Ivory Coast January 14, 2011. U.N. officials have said they were being prevented from protecting civilians and from reaching neighborhoods where Laurent Gbagbo's army is accused of carrying out grave abuses. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

Workers carry bags of cocoa beans January 18, 2011 at the Port of Abidjan where 80% of Ivory Coast's exports transit. EU-registered ships have been barred from dealing with Ivory Coast's main cocoa ports in line with sanctions over the nation's controversial November presidential poll, an EU diplomat said. The European Union slapped sanctions on outcast incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo and 84 of his associates, as well as 11 economic entities in the world's top cocoa producer. (ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images) #

People walk by closed stores January 18, 2011 in the pro-Ouattara popular district of Adjame's great market in Abidjan as supporters of internationally recognized Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara called for a general strike against the Gbagbo camp. Laurent Gbagbo gave new assurances that he is open to talks with his rival for the Ivory Coast presidency, while regional leaders mulled military intervention to break the deadlock. (SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images) #

Supporters of incumbent Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo attend a rally at Champroux stadium in Abidjan January 23, 2011. Gbagbo will find ways to sidestep economic sanctions aimed at removing him from power, his government said after West African leaders moved to sever his funds from the regional central bank. (REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon) #


 
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