2006 Photo Contest, Spot News, 1st prize

Benjamin Curtis

The Associated Press

27 April, 2005

A man prepares the body of a six-year-old boy for burial in a cardboard coffin, in a mainly opposition neighborhood. According to the boy's father, he was shot by gunmen wearing T-shirts bearing the face of Faure Gnassingbe after they broke into the house at night and began firing at random. Faure Gnassingbe, the son of Africa's longest-reigning dictator Gnassingbe Eyadema, was elected president in April. According to the United Nations, up to 500 people were killed and 40,000 Togolese fled to neighboring countries in violence surrounding the elections. The military had installed Gnassingbe as president after his father's death in February, in a move described by the opposition and some other African leaders as a military coup. Under strong international pressure, Gnassingbe stepped down and called an election. Opposition members alleged the polls were rigged and organized protests. Within minutes of Gnassingbe being declared winner they rampaged through the streets of the capital Lome, burning barricades and clashing with security forces.

About the photographer

Benjamin Curtis

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