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How Didier Drogba stopped civil war in Ivory Coast

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Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba.Photo/ AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO
  • Ivory Coast has a dark history of civil strife
  • The Ivorian Civil War lasted for five years
  • This conflict began in September 2002 courtesy of northern rebels

Ivory Coast has a dark history of civil strife that rocked the nation for five years, but football once cured it all. This side of history has everything to do with ‘how did Didier Drogba stop a civil war’?

The Ivorian Civil War, also known as the First Ivorian Civil War, lasted for approximately five years, from 2002 to 2007. This conflict began in September 2002, when a group of soldiers, mostly from the northern part of the country, mutinied against the government and launched a rebellion against the government.

The rebellion quickly spread, and the country was divided; the government controlled the south, and the rebels controlled the north. Human rights violations and thousands of people died while scores still bear the scars of war.

And just before efforts to end the conflict came about from the international community, Drogba once quelled the violence. A peace agreement would later come about in 2007 with a power-sharing government in place.


As stated above, rebels took the country hostage for five years, and many lost their lives. But how did Didier Drogba stop a civil war?

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba. Photo/Motivation Africa

Didier Drogba, a retired Ivorian professional footballer, played a role in the peace process during the Ivorian Civil War (2002-2007) through his role as a peace ambassador and using his influence as a popular sports figure. He used his public platform to raise awareness about the conflict and to encourage the opposing sides to negotiate a peaceful resolution.

Drogba made a public appeal for a ceasefire during the 2006 World Cup, in which he encouraged the Ivorian team and supporters to rally for peace. He also urged the Ivorian government and the rebel groups to end the violence.

His efforts were recognized by the United Nations, which named him a Goodwill Ambassador for the Ivory Coast in 2007. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that Drogba’s efforts alone did not end the war.

It was a combination of factors and actions taken by the international community and peacekeepers that led to the peace agreement of 2007. Drogba’s role was to raise awareness and encourage peace. But the negotiations and agreements were made by the political leaders and representatives of the conflicting parties.


Drogba, is credited with helping to end the civil war in the Ivory Coast in 2005. He and his national team teammates made a public appeal for peace and reconciliation, which played a role in bringing an end to the conflict.

Prior to the intervention of Drogba and his World Cup team, Cote D’Ivoire was experiencing political unrest. However, there was some relief from the continuing political gridlock when the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign started in the middle of 2004.

It provided a small solace for many Ivorians who were increasingly impatient for things to get back to normal. Yet, the man at the centre of it all Drogba, a decorated football legend Premier League, will never forget.


How did Didier Drogba stop a civil war? During the civil war in the Ivory Coast in 2005, Drogba and the Ivory Coast national soccer team made a public appeal for peace and reconciliation.

The team had qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and the players believed their success on the field could help unite the country and end the conflict. They made a statement, saying that they would not participate in the tournament unless a ceasefire was reached.

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba. Photo by CNN

This statement went viral in the media and helped create a negotiated peace deal in 2007. Drogba’s speech was broadcasted on national television, where he called for an end to the fighting and urged the warring parties to come to the negotiating table.

The speech was a key moment in the peace process and helped to promote reconciliation.


Besides the widely asked question of how did Didier Drogba stop a civil war, he is a legend respected for many things. He represented his country on the international stage as a footballer when his people grappled with a civil war.

Years later, he perfected his job as a peace ambassador, and the world doesn’t forget him for these efforts.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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