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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid