Razing of shantytowns continue in Côte dIvoire UN refugee agency reports

Non-governmental organizations in Abidjan say that 13 shantytowns have so far been destroyed by either the military or gendarmes, and that up to 30 more are slated for destruction by the authorities, a spokesman for the agency said in Geneva, noting that shelters are razed with little or no advance warning.”Sometimes even when no warning has been given that a shantytown is slated for destruction, bulldozers and other heavy machinery are parked outside the communities, seemingly as a warning that the residents should move elsewhere,” Kris Janowski said.About 200,000 people have been displaced so far since the conflict started in late September. Of about 73,000 refugees in Côte d’Ivoire, UNHCR said it is currently caring for more than 1,100 newly displaced persons in seven sites around Abidjan, while several thousand Ivorians have fled to neighbouring countries. Several tens of thousands of foreigners, including 6,000 French nationals, Malians, Ghanaians and Nigerians have also decided to return to their countries.

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