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Meanwhile the world’s attention is captured by the events of the Northern part of Africa in the last weeks in Ivory Coast there is a real humanitarian emergency. Since the elections of November 2010 the country is torn by the political instability and the conflicts among the “two presidents” supporters.
Thousands of refugees and hundreds of dead have been estimated in the last months by the humanitarian organizations which are working in the country to help the population and try to keep the peace and avoid another civil war.
The UNHCR has reported that the situation is getting worse every day and that the clashes and the violence are increasing dangerously.
The presidential election in November showed the loss of the president Laurent Gbagbo, in favor of his rival Alassane Ouattara. The results have been contested by Gbagbo who refused to hand power to Ouattara, declaring the elections’ results were not valid. The victory of Ouattara has been internationally recognized by most countries and the United Nations, which see him as the Ivory Coast’s president in office.
This event has led to a situation of strong tension and to the rise of violent clashes among the population. In this civil war climate the population is fleeing the country for taking refuge in the nearest countries, especially in Liberia, where already 20.000 people are escaped there.
According to Save the Children the half of the refugees are children. Numerous are the non-governmental organizations (NGO) that report a difficult situation which is getting constantly worse in these weeks. The fear of a new civil war – after that of 2004- is strong.
The president Alassane Ouattara declared: “my country is on the brink of genocide”. It seems that peaceful demonstrations of the president’s supporters in the Abobo neighbourhood, a suburb of the city of Abidjan, were put down with bloodshed by the forces loyal to Gbagbo. The protesters have been attacked with tank fire and at least seven women were killed and 110 people wounded.
UN refugee agency spokesman Jacques Franquin said: “The situation is deteriorating rapidly. Certain areas of Abidjan are truly in a situation of war with the population fleeing. The situation is making it impossible to reach people who are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.”
“Today I will reiterate it to the genocide in the making. They are killing people along ethnic lines. They are killing foreign nationals from foreign countries, from neighbouring countries. They are killing people who are opposed to Mr Gbagbo. That’s not acceptable. “These were the words of Yousoufou Bamba, Ivory Coast’s ambassador to the UN and Ouattara loyalist, who is calling for more international intervention and for the arrival of more peacekeepers in the country.
The UN Security Council is concerned about the situation and particularly about the attacks on the civilians. It has been estimated by the United Unions that at least 365 people have been killed since December, and about 200,000 people have been displaced by the bloodshed.
The world can’t stay in total indifference; this situation has to be faced up as soon as possible. Africa is still fighting to achieve a civil condition of life and the basic human rights but the West of the world too often forgets it.