News / Africa

Displaced in Ivory Coast Need More Shelter

This mother and her child found refuge at the Catholic Mission in Duékoué after fleeing their home in January
This mother and her child found refuge at the Catholic Mission in Duékoué after fleeing their home in January

Multimedia

Audio
Lisa Schlein

The United Nations refugee agency says it has begun work on a new camp for internally displaced people in western Ivory Coast. The UNHCR says it expects the current shortage of shelter for thousands of uprooted people to get worse as their numbers continue to increase.

So far, the UN refugee agency has registered 38,600 uprooted individuals in western Ivory Coast. The UNHCR says there are not enough places to house all these people and humanitarian conditions are deteriorating.

The new camp, which is located near Duekoue town, will accommodate up to 6,000 people. The UNHCR says this will relieve crowding at a nearby Catholic mission where thousands of displaced are living.

UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming says heavy rains last week destroyed a number of makeshift shelters in the mission compound. She says the agency has provided tents to some of the affected families. But, this is only a stopgap measure.   

“Right now, we are building one camp,” Fleming said. “It is rather difficult for us – also, given the tension, the political environment and also the difficulties for, particularly, U.N. organizations to operate. This is the first site we have been able to identify and to be able to clear. That said we are, unfortunately, in anticipation that there is going to be further displacement and continued displacement. We are looking for other sites for new camps.”  

Most of the displaced in western Ivory Coast fled their homes in mid-December and early January as a result of ethnic tension and violence. This followed the disputed presidential election in November, which has still not been resolved.

The incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, refuses to give up his seat to the United Nations- recognized winner, Alassane Ouattara. This has ushered in a period of fear and instability, which has displaced tens of thousands of people inside Ivory Coast and prompted more than 36,300 Ivorians to flee to neighboring Liberia.

Fleming says some of the displaced people say they cannot return to their homes because they have been burned down and their possessions looted. Others report physical and sexual violence, as well as arbitrary detention by armed groups acting with impunity.

“Civilians do remain traumatized by the recent troubles, which many see as reminiscent of the civil conflict in 2002,” she added. “And, they remember that very well. As a result, many families who we speak to say that they have left their homes in anticipation of a possible attack. They tell us they fear becoming trapped in case of renewed war and will only consider returning to their homes once the political deadlock is resolved and their security is assured.”  

Fleming says the political deadlock is causing widespread fear. She warns failure to resolve this standoff could trigger displacement on a massive scale.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid