News / Africa

Amnesty International: Displaced Ivorians Fear Going Home

Ivorian toddlers Prencia Gosse, left, and Laure Djiejian, who along with their families fled ethnic and political clashes, play alongside piled belongings in a classroom at the Catholic Mission in Duekoue, in western Ivory Coast (File Photo - May 30, 2011
Ivorian toddlers Prencia Gosse, left, and Laure Djiejian, who along with their families fled ethnic and political clashes, play alongside piled belongings in a classroom at the Catholic Mission in Duekoue, in western Ivory Coast (File Photo - May 30, 2011

Hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled their homes in Ivory Coast during the recent political crisis are too scared to go back, according to the international campaign group Amnesty International.

“We went in Cote d'Ivoire last June and we saw that there are still many people who don't dare to return home because there is a reign of fear put in place by the security forces and by a militia of Dozo, who are traditional hunters, who are frightening people, intimidating people, so that these people cannot return home and retrieve their lands,” said Salvatore Sagues, a researcher for Amnesty International on Ivory Coast.

He says Ivorian leader Alassane Ouattarra must put an end to the violence.

Former leader Laurent Gbagbo was ousted in April after losing a violent power struggle that followed a disputed election last year.

Gbagbo is now under house arrest but Amnesty says militia loyal to Ouattara has not disbanded. As a result, Amnesty says, many people have not returned home.

The reports quotes United Nations figures that over 600,000 Ivorians remained displaced at the end of June.

Phil Clark, an expert on Ivory Coast at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, says Ivory Coast is suffering from the same problems today as it was before last year’s disputed elections.

He says mass migration to cocoa-producing regions means tensions are high.

"So I think what we have seen in the last couple months is those very difficult issues of migrant status and land have come to the fore," said Clarke. "And if you lay on top of that Ouattara's forces wanting to wipe out Gbagbo's supporters who remain in the country you have a very toxic mix."

Ouattara signed a decree Wednesday for a commission of inquiry into crimes committed after last year’s election. He says he wants to put Gbagbo and his aids on trial for war crimes.

Clarke says Ouattara must also work hard to fix the root causes of trouble in Ivory Coast.

"There also needs to be a much deeper economic and political response to what's going on, recognizing that many of these problems, especially in the west of the country, run very deep and simply changing the leadership at the national level isn't going to deal with those problems," said Clarke.

Ouattara has vowed that justice will be applied to all those responsible for violence following the election.

He says his supporters will not get special treatment.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

update At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid