News / Africa

Exodus Grows As Violence Escalates In Ivory Coast

Refugees, who fled the post-election instability in Ivory Coast, wait to be registered at a camp in Liberia
Refugees, who fled the post-election instability in Ivory Coast, wait to be registered at a camp in Liberia

The United Nations refugee agency reports a significant rise in the number of people fleeing the Ivory Coast as fighting escalates and more people are being killed and injured.  The UNHCR says violence is impeding its ability to assist people trapped by the conflict.

United Nations officials are expressing shock at the escalating violence in Ivory Coast, particularly in the commercial capital Abidjan.  They say this week has been the most violent since the post-election crisis began in December.

The United Nations reports at least 25 people were killed on Thursday alone in the Abobo neighborhood.  This area is a stronghold of the internationally recognized President, Alassane Ouattara.  

Fighting between Ouattara and his rival for the presidency, Laurent Gbagbo, has displaced an estimated 300,000 people in Abidjan alone.  U.N. refugee spokeswoman, Melissa Fleming, says the urban warfare in the city is causing even more people to flee their homes.

She says households hosting the displaced are seeing their resources being depleted.

“We are trying out best.  We are getting desperate calls from the people, the generous people who are hosting them, but whose food and supplies have run out.  We are trying our best to respond to their calls, but checkpoints, harassment, armed fighting are reducing ours and our partners ability to reach these people,” said Fleming.  

Fleming says people are rushing to get out of harm’s way.  She says ongoing fighting in the West, along the Liberian border is forcing more civilians to flee across the border.  She says the number of Ivorian refugees in Liberia is rapidly growing and currently stands at 90,000.  But, she adds that number could soon reach the 100,000 mark.

As violence escalates in Ivory Coast, Fleming says the UNHCR is seeing a new trend emerge. “The numbers have been very small in the other countries, but now the numbers in neighboring Ghana are growing.  It is still 500 people.  But, it is only 150…kilometers from Abidjan.  So, we are worried and we are making contingencies that this could be at the beginning of a refugee situation of significant magnitude in Ghana,” said the spokeswoman.  

Fleming notes within this chaotic mix of internally displaced people and refugees is a relatively small group of Liberian refugees.  She says the political instability also is affecting the 24,000 Liberian refugees who are residing in Ivory Coast.

She says the UNHCR is beginning an airlift on Saturday to repatriate any of the refugees who wish to go back to the homes they fled in Liberia many years ago.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
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.

AppleAndroid