News / Africa

Ivory Coast Displaced Need Food, Water, Shelter

Forces loyal to the internationally recognized Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara prepare to attack the Presidential Palace in Abidjan, April 1, 2011
Forces loyal to the internationally recognized Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara prepare to attack the Presidential Palace in Abidjan, April 1, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict in Ivory Coast, with many thousands of displaced people isolated from humanitarian aid. The International Organization for Migration [IOM] said the situation is becoming “increasingly untenable.”

IOM spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy said tens of thousands of displaced people are seeking shelter at a Catholic mission in Duekoue, western Ivory Coast.

“More people were being displaced and going towards this Catholic mission, towards the town of Duekoue, in search of security and protection and assistance, of course. We probably have more than 40,000 people now who are in and around this Catholic mission…. We also have information that some of the displaced have gone to a nearby U.N. camp in search of security and of assistance,” he said.

There are also reports that thousands of people had left Duekoue to walk to the town of Guiglo. However, Chauzy said they “apparently seem to be stranded en route and need some assistance. The group apparently includes some vulnerable people, including pregnant women. There again, we are desperate to be able to assist those displaced people in Duekoue and Guiglo, but…access to the region at the moment is incredibly difficult.”

The IOM is sending a team to the region to evaluate the situation. It will then work with U.N. agencies and NGOs to bring in emergency supplies.

Some good news, but not enough

“The good news yesterday (Thursday) evening was that water was available. It hadn’t been before, for at least 72 hours, simply because the electricity in the town [Duekoue] had been cut and therefore the water pumps were not functional within the Catholic mission. Now with electricity back, water pumps are operating and water, potable water, is now available, it seems, for those displaced,” he said.

But food is still in short supply.  The IOM says the displaced haven’t eaten for days. It estimates that 80,000 food rations are needed, along with kitchen sets.

“We also have information of people arriving with wounds, including bullet wounds, that deserve urgent medical treatment. And there again, the Salesian fathers, that are in the Catholic mission in Duekoue, are really launching an SOS to make sure that they can get the assistance they need,” he said.

Earlier this week, the IOM said the military offensive by forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara had helped drive the displacement. Ouattara was declared the winner by the U.N. of last November’s presidential election. But Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down voluntarily. Fighting and displacement soon followed.

“That was true earlier this week,” Chauzy said, “Now of course the western area of Cote d’Ivoire appears to be now under the total control of the pro-Ouattara forces. What might happen is that you have enclaves of resistance…probably again populations fearing skirmishes or ambushes.”

Abidjan

The International Organization for Migration has been helping foreign nationals leave the city. But insecurity has made that increasingly difficult.

“We did manage to evacuate about a thousand Mauritanian nationals, but obviously because of the security situation in Abidjan we have suspended the humanitarian evacuation program,” he said.

The evacuation route included traveling through the capital, Yamoussoukro, but the battle for the city has prevented the route from being used.

“We now have to see how the situation evolves in Abidjan. If calm returned to the capital, the need for an evacuation might decrease. On the contrary, if fighting continues or spreads to various quarters of Abidjan, with violence against foreign workers, that would probably trigger important movements of population and increase requests for evacuation assistance,” he said.

The IOM had been asked to evacuate over 50,000 stranded migrants from Ivory Coast to Mauritania, Guinea, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Mali.

The IOM spokesman adds, “We are at the moment hoping for the best case scenario, but also preparing for what could be a worst case scenario.”

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor 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.
Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisisi
X
March 06, 2015 12:28 AM
There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Winter Weather Strikes Eastern US...Again!

A new wintry blast has hit more than 20 states in the U.S. Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region, adding more snow to the piles from previous storms. Tired of shoveling snow, breaking the ice and dealing with accidents, flight delays and property damage, most Americans hope this is the last bout of cold for the season. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Myanmar's Traditional Fashion Choices Endure

The sartorial choices of Myanmar’s men and women quickly catch the eye of any visitor to the tropical Southeast Asian country. But at a time when Myanmar’s political and economic opening is bringing affordable western fashions to the masses, will the country’s unique fashion trends endure? VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Yangon explores that question.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More