News / Africa

Killings in Ivory Coast Causing More to Flee

Evacuees who fled fighting in Ivory Coast prepare to eat breakfast in the French camp of Port Bouet, which houses about 3000 French and other foreign citizens, in Abidjan, April 8, 2011
Evacuees who fled fighting in Ivory Coast prepare to eat breakfast in the French camp of Port Bouet, which houses about 3000 French and other foreign citizens, in Abidjan, April 8, 2011
Lisa Schlein

The United Nations Human Rights Office reports an escalation in human rights violations since forces loyal to internationally recognized president Alassane Outtara have been closing in on his rival Laurent Gbagbo.  At the same time, U.N. agencies report more people are fleeing to other countries.  

U.N. human rights monitors report they have found more than 100 bodies since Thursday in three different towns in western Ivory Coast.  In Duekoue, the scene of a previous massacre, they found 15 new bodies, believed to be mostly or all of Guerre ethnicity.

Human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, says the Guerre traditionally have supported Laurent Gbagbo.  He says the killings took place when fighters who support President Alassane Ouattara took control of Duekoue.

But, Colville says people have to be cautious about assigning responsibility for the killings.  He says the situation is extremely complex.

"In addition to the pro and anti-camps for the former President and the current President, you have existing ethnic tensions and hangovers from the previous war in Cote d'Ivoire and a lot of localized issues as well, which are then being channeled into the current political framework," said Colville.  "There has been an escalation in the last two or three weeks in this very big and very ugly tit-for-tat killings in Duekoue, which began mid-March."

The human rights team also found 40 corpses in the small town of Blolequin and  another 60 bodies in the nearby town of Guiglo, including a number of West Africans.

The U.N. refugee agency says the rising ethnic tensions and killings are prompting thousands of refugees to leave Ivory Coast and pour into neighboring countries.  

The UNHCR estimates close to 150,000 Ivorian refugees now are spread across 12 countries in West Africa.  Most of the refugees are hosted in Liberia.  U.N. refugee spokesman, Adrian Edwards says on Wednesday alone, more than 4,500 Ivorians entered Maryland County in southeastern Liberia.

"People we have spoken to on arrival are visibly tired, hungry and exhausted after arriving through a number of different means:  on foot through the bushes, by canoe across the Cavally river, and by sea," said Edwards.  "Some told us they have seen dead bodies along the way.  In Maryland County, our staff is hearing bombardments in Cote d'Ivoire across the Cavally river."

Edwards says fighting continues to rage in Ivory Coast's commercial capital of Abidjan.  And, this is driving more civilians into exile in Ghana.  He says some 2,000 Ivorians have crossed into Ghana in the last week, bringing the total there to 7,200.

He says Ghana has opened a second camp to host the refugees in addition to Ampain camp near the border.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs