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article imageRefugees flee Ivory Coast

By Lynn Morris     Jan 6, 2011 in World
Thousands of refugees are fleeing violence in the politically unstable Ivory Coast in West Africa. Charity ActionAid reported more than 22,000 refugees have already crossed the border into neighbouring Liberia.
Refugees are have been leaving the troubled Ivory Coast after the disputed election. ActionAid is reporting that thousands of refugees have crossed into Liberia. And of these 15,000 or about 70 per cent are women and children.
Violence in Ivory Coast looks set to increase as the BBC is reporting president elect Alassane Ouattara calling for a West African special forces operation to remove the incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo.
There are concerns that the political upheaval in the Ivory Coast could destabilise other countries in the region. Liberia recently suffered its own civil war and continues to have a United Nations peace keeping force in the country.
ActionAid’s country representative in Liberia Korto Williams said: “When one country in West Africa slips into conflict, it can easily destabilise its neighbours. The exodus of people from Ivory Coast will inevitably increase if violence escalates. Not only will this place growing economic pressure on already fragile neighbouring countries, but the health and security of refugees, particularly of women and children, is also of huge concern.”
Access to clean water and food could be difficult for these refugees. Children’s education will be suspended and finding adequate healthcare will be a challenge.
More about Ivory coast, West africa, Election, Violence, Cote divoire
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