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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs