News / Africa

    Thousands of Displaced People Face Eviction in Ivory Coast

    The International Organization for Migration says thousands of internally displaced people are facing eviction from camps in Ivory Coast.  The IOM says many of these people are fearful of returning to the homes they abandoned during the West African nation's post-election crisis and are in urgent need of shelter.

    The International Organization for Migration says 14 camps for internally displaced people have been closed in the past few months due to evictions.  This has forced 800 families to find other camps in which to live or to seek shelter with host communities.

    The IOM says another 1,250 families are under imminent threat of eviction in 15 other displacement camps.  The agency says private owners of empty buildings, including churches and schools, who want to regain their property are putting pressure on people to leave the camps.

    IOM spokeswoman, Jemini Pandya, tells VOA most of the people who have been evicted from their campsites are reluctant to return to their original homes.  

    "Why people are not returning is because… they either do not have homes to go back to or because they fear that in the villages where they were before, where they had land in which they were working, which during the conflict was taken over by other people-that if they go back to those home villages, they essentially will be in conflict and face reprisals from those who have taken over their land and property," said Jemini Pandya.  

    Fighting between supporters of the two rivals erupted after former president Laurent Gbagbo, who lost the presidential election at the end of 2010, refused to cede power to Alassane Ouattara, the universally acclaimed winner.  Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced during the political standoff.  Tens of thousands of Ivorians fled to neighboring countries.  

    At the peak of the post-election conflict in April, an estimated 600,000 people were sheltering in displacement camps in western Ivory Coast and areas near the commercial capital, Abidjan.  The IOM says that number has dropped significantly since the resolution of the political crisis, to nearly 26,000 people in 35 sites.  

    Spokeswoman Pandya says this news is not as good as it appears.

    "No one really knows the number of people who are living with host communities," she said. "These are people who were displaced, but instead of going to a displacement site went and sought shelter with other families.  But, the humanitarian community that is working in Cote d’Ivoire, believe that this figure is very high.  But, tracing these displaced groups is extremely difficult.  IOM is concerned about the conditions in which the IDPs are living at the sites and those who also have returned to home villages, even if their homes have been destroyed."   

    Pandya says most of the displaced are living in makeshift shelters, which offer little protection from the short rainy season that is beginning.  She says these people are in desperate need of shelter.  And, while the IOM is ready to assist them, she says the organization does not have sufficient financial resources to respond to their needs.

    Pandya says the IOM has received less that $4 million of the $41.6 million appeal it launched early this year.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora