Benin + 8 more

Update No. 07: Côte d'Ivoire Situation

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• Intensifying military combat between the Forces Républicaines (FR) loyal to Alassane Ouattara and the Forces de Défense et de Sécurité (FDS) of Laurent Gbagbo is disrupting protection monitoring and the provision of essential assistance to persons displaced within Côte d'Ivoire, especially in Abidjan.

• On 29 March, Gbagbo called for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of talks under the mediation of the African Union (AU) High Representative. This came after the FR moved into and captured Daloa, Mama, Duékoué, Lahoudiba, Bondoukou, Abengourou, Sinfra, and San Pedro. The FR reportedly took control over the capital, Yamoussoukro, on 30 March and is surrounding Abidjan. The Côte d'Ivoire Army Chief of Staff sought refuge at the home of the South African Ambassador in Abidjan. It was also reported that the blockade on the Hotel du Golfe was lifted. Heavy fighting in Abidjan is taking place around the Presidential Palace and Gbagbo's residence.

• The humanitarian situation throughout Côte d'Ivoire is worsening. The majority of IDP sites in Abidjan are either inaccessible or difficult to access due to the presence of barricades manned by armed groups.

• Humanitarian actors reported that more than 130,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are accounted for in host families (92,840) and at IDP sites in Abidjan (19,397). UNHCR also confirmed the presence of 18,300 people displaced in the interior cities of Bouaké – 8,000 (UNFPA), Yamoussoukro (10,000 – UNFPA), and Akoupé – 300 (Caritas) as of 28 March. Duékoué, where an estimated 40,000 IDPs have sought safety in the Catholic mission, is one of several areas of concern in the western region. Humanitarian actors estimate that there are 750,000 IDPs throughout Côte d'Ivoire.

• Over 120,000 Ivorian refugees are in Liberia. The number of people leaving Abidjan is on the rise, along with an increase in the number of refugees fleeing to Ghana and other neighbouring countries. An estimated total of over 128,000 Ivorians have fled the country as of 31 March.

• UNHCR is concerned about the spontaneous arrival of third country nationals from Côte d'Ivoire, mostly migrant workers, in need of assistance to return to their own countries.

• The Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan (EHAP) Revision for Liberia was submitted, and the EHAP for Côte d'Ivoire + 10 neighbouring countries is being finalized.