The International Institute of New England wishes to express its grave concern for the unraveling security situation inside Ivory Coast. Reuters reported this morning that at least 112,000 refugees have fled west to Liberia, while another 30,000 Ivorians have sought refuge in an overcrowded Catholic mission in the town of Duekoue, with limited access to health facilities, food, or water.
Ivory Coast had, until a contested presidential election in November, become a largely stable, post-conflict state, with a relatively strong economic outlook. The latest conflict between rival military elements loyal to their respective candidates not only threatens the security of Ivorians, but could also destabilize neighboring Liberia, which itself is emerging from protracted war.
The Institute does not support one party or another in any conflict, but we strongly advocate for the protection of all uprooted civilians.