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

    S. African Farmer Goes From 'Voice in the Wilderness' to Sought-After Expert

    Margarest Roberts has authored more than 40 books on subjects like organic farming, urban agriculture, herbs and ‘superfoods'

    Millennial Men Prefer Bucks Over Beauty

    U.S. men aged 18 to 34 say the finances of a potential significant other are more important than her looks

    Multimedia Lebanese Clown Troupe Marks Valentine's Day Amid Stink

    Activists resort to unusual approaches to raise public awareness of country’s ongoing trash crisis

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.