Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 October 2014, 16:06 GMT

Côte d'Ivoire: IDPs and returnees need urgent assistance and protection

Publisher Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)
Publication Date 26 August 2011
Cite as Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Côte d'Ivoire: IDPs and returnees need urgent assistance and protection, 26 August 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e5791782.html [accessed 22 October 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to the UN mission in Côte d'Ivoire, over 30,000 people were still displaced in mid-August as a consequence of the civil war that followed the presidential election of November 2010. Fighting between supporters of Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara, which intensified in February 2011 displaced almost a million people by late March, including over 700,000 within or from Abidjan, and 150,000 in the west of the country. After Ouattara took power in April, the numbers only gradually decreased, as reprisals between the two sides continued. In mid-June, there were still over 300,000 IDPs according to UNHCR.

Human rights violations against supposed Gbagbo supporters have prevented many from returning in Abidjan and to the west. Many IDPs now face secondary displacement when the original owners of the places they have been occupying return and evict them; in Abidjan, the number of IDPs is actually increasing.

Large numbers of returnees also need urgent humanitarian assistance. In the western regions of Moyen Cavally and Montagnes, a poor harvest has left 30 per cent of rural households food insecure according to OCHA, and returnees are likely to be affected as they were not able to plant and harvest crops in time. Nonetheless, the distribution of shelters and other assistance by UNHCR has encouraged people to go back.

Both returnees and IDPs have continued facing widespread violence, in spite of repeated promises by Ouattara to apply justice to his supporters as well as to his opponents. The UN reported 26 cases of extrajudicial execution, principally by armed forces who helped the new president, and 85 cases of arbitrary arrest and illegal detention in July, while eight mass graves were uncovered in a Gbagbo stronghold.

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