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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More