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UN envoy travels to Ghana to assess regional impact of Côte d'Ivoire crisis

UN envoy travels to Ghana to assess regional impact of Côte d'Ivoire crisis

As a United Nations humanitarian envoy wrapped up her visit to Côte d'Ivoire, she continued her assessment of the crisis's regional impact with a stop in Ghana today.

Carolyn McAskie, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Humanitarian Envoy for the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire travelled to Accra, Ghana, where she met with Ghanaian authorities, including the Vice-President, Minster for Foreign Affairs, representatives of the UN country team and representatives of humanitarian organizations.

Ms. McAskie discussed with them the extent of the impact of the Côte d'Ivoire crisis on Ghana, the ongoing measures to address the humanitarian situation, and emergency preparedness measures currently in place, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). From Ghana, Ms. McAskie plans to visit Burkina Faso tomorrow and then travel to Guinea, Liberia and Mali.

Prior to leaving Côte d'Ivoire, Ms. McAskie discussed with President Laurent Gbagbo the destruction of shantytowns by Ivoirian security forces, and visited this past weekend the "Washington" community, where she heard eyewitness accounts of brutality there.

According to OCHA, residents of Washington later reported that on Tuesday night, their community was again visited by armed men in uniform who accused them of speaking to the press, set fire to nine homes, brutalized residents and detained seven young men.

A similar incident occurred on Monday night in "Abdoulaye Diallo," another shantytown, where 50 homes were burned, OCHA reported. The agency has called on local and national authorities as well as all security forces in Abidjan to respect national and international laws, particularly those that apply to the protection of civilians in armed conflict.