UN mission identifies thousands of displaced people in western Côte d’Ivoire

3 February 2011

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Côte d’Ivoire today reported that 18,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been identified in the western areas of the country, adding that the number could rise when their registration, currently under way, is completed.

“Humanitarian agencies and NGOs [non-governmental organisations] are looking for financing to meet the needs of the internally displaced persons in terms of placements, shelter, water, food, health and protection,” the deputy spokesperson for the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), Kenneth Blackman, said in a press conference held in the city of Abidjan.

Mr. Blackman also reported that UNOCI peacekeepers last week distributed 16,000 litres of drinking water to people in need and carried out 817 patrols throughout the country. Medical teams from various UNOCI contingents provided free medical care to 1,376 patients, including three people who were allegedly shot by elements of the national police in the town of Bondoukou on Tuesday.

He noted that UNOCI is continuing its public awareness campaigns aimed at strengthening social cohesion and peace. “Through these activities, UNOCI is showing that its credo remains finding a peaceful, inclusive and definitive crisis-resolution in Côte d’Ivoire,” Mr. Blackman said.

Côte d’Ivoire has been in turmoil since early December when outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo refused leave office despite opposition leader Alassane Ouattara’s UN-certified victory in November’s run-off election. Mr. Ouattara, who has set up base in the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, has been recognized by the international community as the West African country’s duly elected president.

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