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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid