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A Nigeria divided: Post-election violence

Need to Know presents VII Magazine, a journalistic partnership with VII Photo, which gives readers unprecedented intimate access to the work of the world’s leading photojournalists. Every day, our partners at VII showcase a new photo, and each week, a new video or audio slideshow.

VII photographer Benedicte Kurzen was on the ground in Nigeria during its recent presidential elections and the explosive post-election violence that followed the results. According to official results from the national election commission, incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan won the April 16 election with 57 percent of the vote. However, massive violence  erupted in northern parts of the country by individuals rejecting Jonathan’s victory over the main presidential challenger, General Muhammadu Buhari.

The violence has resulted in at least 200 deaths, with thousands injured and 40,000 people displaced. The number of fatalities may actually be much higher than reported because of the fear that releasing casualty figures may ignite revenge killings in parts of the country.

Jonathan won in states located in the mostly Christian southern parts of Nigeria while General Buhari won convincingly in core Muslim states of northern Nigeria. The post-election violence in Nigeria primarily targeted Christian places of worship as well as ethnic northern minorities and families originally from southern parts of Nigeria.

Kurzen brings this collection of images and video from the streets of Nigeria, where she documented defiant crowds, wounded victims and individuals calling for peace in the wake of the elections.

Warning: Graphic imagery.

Watch the video at VII Magazine.