Likelihood of crimes against humanity in Côte d’Ivoire:HRC

As violence continues to escalate in Côte d'Ivoire, the UN Office for Human Rights is warning that crimes against humanity may be taking place.

Civilians fleeing Abidjan

Civilians fleeing Abidjan

At least 25 people were killed on Thursday as residents of the Abobo suburb of Abidjan came under heavy shelling from forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo. UN High commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says the attack on civilians may rise to the level of an international crime, possibly a crime against humanity.

Meanwhile, humanitarian agencies say the fighting is restricting access to over 300,000 people displaced in Abidjan. Melissa Fleming is from the UN Refugee agency UNHCR.

“We’ve been trying to arrange help for this population, but we are unable to access them. We are appealing to the warring parties to allow humanitarian access to these civilians. Fighting along the Liberian border is forcing more civilians to flee into Liberia. The number of Ivorian refugees in Liberia has now reached 90,000, and this is putting tremendous strain on the impoverished host communities, we are expecting this number if the trends continue to reach 100,000.”

UNHCR says it will begin the evacuation of at 24,000 Liberian refugees caught up in the fighting in Côte d’Ivoire. The evacuation is expected to start on Saturday.

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