1.5 million displaced as war looms large in Côte d’Ivoire

Fears of all out war in Côte d'Ivoire are uprooting thousands from their homes in Abidjan and in the western parts of the country, according to the United Nations.

Refugees fleeing Côte d'Ivoire

Refugees fleeing Côte d'Ivoire

The number of those displaced has topped 1.5 million as insecurity and violence continue to escalate.

United Nations Refugee agency UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) say up to a million people have been displaced in Abidjan, while in the western parts of the country 500,000 have been uprooted from their homes.

Melissa Fleming from UNHCR says Ivorian refugees in Liberia have now reached 100,000.

“Families fleeing areas of conflict have told UNHCR monitors that they are afraid of being caught in the fighting and killed by stray bullets. Others say they can no longer cope financially due to closures of banks and businesses and resulting unemployment. Costs of food have risen, and there is little available in the markets. Price rises have also hit public transport. Bus terminals are overcrowded with passengers desperate to get seats on vehicles heading to northern, central and eastern parts of the country where there has been no fighting so far.”

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says over 462 people have been killed since the start of the Côte d’Ivoire crisis in December last year.

The High Commissioner has also expressed concern over the recent recruitment of over 5,000 youths into the armed forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo saying it could potentially have negative implications for the already deteriorating human rights situation in the country.

Filed under Today's News.
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