UNHCR urges suspension of all returns to Côte d'Ivoire.

Governments around the world are being urged to suspend the return of refugees and other migrants to Côte d'Ivoire.

Ivorian refugees

Ivorian refugees

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says the prevailing security and human rights situation in Côte d’Ivoire was not conducive for the return of Ivorian migrants or refugees.

UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva, Andrej Mahecic, says the organization welcomes a decision by Guinea and Liberia to formally recognize people fleeing Côte d’Ivoire as refugees.

“In Europe, meanwhile, a number of countries have halted returns, including those of failed asylum seekers. UNHCR is this morning issuing a return position to governments worldwide urging them to follow suit and suspend all returns to Cote d’Ivoire pending improvements in the security and human rights situation. Since the elections on 28 November there have been numerous incidents of violence and reports of serious human rights violations, including against women, children and displaced people. Abductions, disappearances, extrajudicial executions and acts of sexual violence have been reported in Abidjan and elsewhere.”

UNHCR says over 30,000 Ivorian refugees have fled into Liberia, while another 18,000 have been internally displaced in western parts of the country.

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