A rendering of Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara is seen next to the toll gate of the newly constructed Kenri Konan Bedie bridge in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, September 11, 2015.
Joe Penney / Reuters

On March 29, 2011, at least 800 villagers were massacred in Duékoué, a town in western Côte d’Ivoire. Militias loyal to Alassane Ouattara, a candidate in the recently held and hotly disputed presidential election, went house to house, AK-47s in hand, rounding up the men and systematically executing them. Witnesses recount the soldiers’ chants of “You voted Gbagbo! We are going to kill you all!” as they fired their rounds. 

In other towns, militias loyal to (and allegedly under the control of) the sitting president, Laurent Gbagbo, used similar tactics, leaving behind a path of “murder, rape, other inhumane acts, and persecution.” Before the fighting ended, 3,000 people had died and roughly a million others were displaced.

That conflict was sparked by Côte d’Ivoire’s last election. On Sunday, the country votes to elect a new president. Will this time be different? 

Five years ago, after Ivoirians cast

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