500,000 displaced by fighting in Côte d’Ivoire

Nearly half a million people have been displaced by the on going political crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, according to United Nations agencies.

Refugees fleeing Côte d'Ivoire

Refugees fleeing Côte d'Ivoire

In the capital Abidjan, recent fighting is reported to have pushed nearly 300,000 people out of their homes.

In the western part of the country the number of displaced has risen to 70,000.

United Nations Refugee agency UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration say the humanitarian situation in Côte d’Ivoire is getting desperate and are appealing to the warring groups to avoid placing civilian lives at risk.

Adrian Edwards is from UNHCR.

“In western Côte d’Ivoire humanitarian access to people in need has been severely impeded by insecurity. As a result thousands of displaced people are almost entirely without help. The risks for civilians, including people of concern under UNHCR’s mandate, are also growing. Persistent reports that Liberian mercenaries are being brought in to join the fighting is fueling distrust. This in turn is creating risks for the 24,000 Liberian refugees in Côte d’Ivoire. The number of Ivorians fleeing into eastern Liberia has also risen dramatically. UNHCR has so far registered some 75,000 refugees, of whom around half have arrived since 24th February.”

The International Organization for Migration says the targeting of aid workers has made it difficult to deliver humanitarian aid to those in need.

IOM says it has withdrawn its international staff working in western Côte d’Ivoire due to insecurity.

Duration: 46″

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