Thursday, October 13, 2011

450,000 people yet to return to the Ivory Coast

It happens over and over again in an armed conflict, the people are quick to leave but slow to return. The displaced people often go on living as refugees for years and years. They begin to grow dependent on aid groups because they can't establish their own livelihood in a different country.

OXFAM tells us that 450,000 people still remain refugees after the Ivory Coast conflict from earlier this year. With the story no longer in the international headlines, the aid groups are running out of food and water to provide for them.

From Reuters Alert Net, we read the latest assessment of the Ivory Coast refugees.

Although some half a million Ivorians have returned to their homes since the end of the conflict in April, 450,000 Ivorians remain displaced inside and outside the country -- the world's top cocoa grower -- according to a report by aid agencies Oxfam, the Danish Refugee Council and Care.

The International Rescue Committee said on Wednesday some of the displaced were sheltering in communities within Ivory Coast while others were in camps in neighbouring Liberia.

"Six months on, the majority of the 170,000 Ivorians who fled to Liberia are reluctant to go back due to persisting insecurity in parts of western Ivory Coast and concerns about targeted attacks by ethnic or political rivals. They remain in precarious conditions in camps and communities," the IRC said in a statement.

Ivory Coast's five-month post-election crisis ended when former president Laurent Gbagbo, who tried to cling on to power despite losing an election in November, was ousted by forces loyal to current President Alassane Ouattara.

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