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UN says tensions, insecurity persist in Western Cote d’Ivoire

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Security in Côte d’Ivoire’s biggest city, Abidjan, is improving and commercial activities such as retail trade and banking are resuming.

However, tensions remain high in other parts of the country, notably the west, where outbreaks of violence have been recorded, the United Nations reported on Tuesday.

Aid agencies have identified an estimated 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) across the country, but only 28 per cent are accommodated in established IDP sites, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in an update.

Côte d’Ivoire’s political crisis ended when former President Laurent Gbagbo finally surrendered in mid-April, ending months of violence that erupted in the wake of his refusal to step down after he lost the UN-certified presidential run-off election in November last year to Alassane Ouattara.

A statement issued by the UN Information Centre in Accra on Wednesday said frequent movements of people to and from their areas of origin had made it difficult for agencies to come up with an exact number of IDPs.

It said many of the displaced often made trips to their homes of origin to assess conditions to ascertain possibilities for return.

The UN said aid workers were concerned that current food supplies were insufficient and water and sanitation conditions remained inadequate.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has reported that some 77,000 people have received food assistance since the start of this month, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) began distributing kitchen sets, jerry cans, mats, blankets, feminine hygiene kits, soap and bleach to IDPs in eight sites around Abidjan on May 6.

The humanitarian appeal for Côte d’Ivoire and neighbouring countries, which were affected by the crises has received just over $36 million of the $160 million requested.

The UN said in neighbouring Liberia, the UNHCR had reported that Ivorian refugees continued to arrive at a rate of 250 per day. As of May 6, 173,169 refugees had been registered.

“Refugees in Liberia’s River Gee County are in urgent need of food and health-care assistance, but with the onset of the rainy season, reaching them has become difficult, even as communities hosting them run out of resources,” the statement said.

Source: GNA

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