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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs