News / Africa

UN Urges Countries Not to Deport Refugees to Ivory Coast

A rebel fighter holds a knife as he stands watch for security forces on a street in the Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Security forces loyal to Ivory Coast's incumbent leader fired volleys of gunshots, leaving at least four people dead after
A rebel fighter holds a knife as he stands watch for security forces on a street in the Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Security forces loyal to Ivory Coast's incumbent leader fired volleys of gunshots, leaving at least four people dead after
TEXT SIZE - +

The United Nations refugee agency is urging governments not to deport Ivorian refugees back to their country. The UNHCR says the situation in the Ivory Coast is becoming increasingly unstable and refugees could be in danger if returned.

The UN refugee agency notes countries surrounding Ivory Coast understand the seriousness of the situation and are behaving constructively toward the refugees.  

It says Guinea and Liberia have formally declared they will recognize people fleeing the Ivory Coast as refugees on a prima facie basis.  Meanwhile in Europe, it reports a number of countries are halting returns, including those of failed asylum seekers.

UNHCR spokesman, Andrej Mahecic, says his agency is issuing a worldwide appeal for other governments around the world to follow suit.  He says it is asking them to suspend all returns to the Ivory Coast until the security and human rights situation there improves.

“Since the elections on the 28th of November, there have been numerous incidents of violence and reports of serious human rights violations, including against women, children and displaced people,” Mahecic said. “Abductions, disappearances, extrajudicial executions and acts of sexual violence have been reported in Abidjan and throughout the country.”  

Currently the UN refugee agency reports about 30,000 refugees have fled to Liberia, and around 340 to Guinea.   It says 18,000 people remain displaced internally in western parts of the Ivory Coast.  

The United Nations and International community agree that opposition leader, Alassane Ouattara, won the widely contested election.  But, the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo refuses to give up power.

Many people fear a continuing standoff between these two rivals and their supporters could provoke another civil war in the country.  In the meantime, instability and violence is growing.

UN Human Rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, says the Human Rights Office has received reports of 13 new killings in the past week.  He says this brings the total number of deaths to at least 260 since mid-December.

“Among these 13 new killings, there was one woman.  She was slashed to death with machetes.  Other bodies were found with wounds, several were killed with gunfire, one or two others with machetes.  One had his throat slit and another was beaten to death,” Colville stated.  

In addition, the United Nations reports seven new cases of disappearances for a total of 68 and 23 cases of sexual assault.

On Wednesday, Colville says human rights workers tried, for the second time, to visit the alleged third mass grave, which was reported earlier this month.  But, he says, hostile villagers at the alleged grave site blocked the mission.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid