Note: The last fact sheet was dated April 8, 2011.
On April 11, the Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire—the national army loyal to internationally recognized President Alassane Ouattara—arrested former president Laurent Gbagbo at his residence in Abidjan, following days of intense fighting. Peacekeeping troops from the U.N. Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) had taken military measures to obstruct use of heavy weapons by forces loyal to Gbagbo in accordance with a March 30 U.N. Security Council resolution that mandated UNOCI to protect civilians by all necessary means.
Despite Gbagbo’s arrest, the security situation in Côte d’Ivoire remains precarious, with reports of ongoing looting and armed violence in Abidjan and western Côte d’Ivoire. President Ouattara is working to re-establish law and order by increasing patrols in Abidjan and consolidating support from military leaders previously loyal to former president Gbagbo, according to international media.
Primary humanitarian needs in Côte d’Ivoire remain physical security, access to food, water, and medical services, and psychosocial support. On April 12, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) deployed an eight-member U.N. Disaster Assessment and Coordination team to facilitate humanitarian coordination and assess humanitarian conditions in Côte d’Ivoire.
Humanitarian agencies are expanding relief operations in western Côte d’Ivoire, where heavy fighting from the end of February to early April had displaced nearly 100,000 people and resulted in more than 500 deaths, according to OCHA and the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The U.N. also reports that some humanitarian aid is reaching Abidjan; however, insecurity continues to impede humanitarian access within the city—Côte d’Ivoire’s economic center with a pre-conflict population of 5 million people. At the height of the violence, fighting had displaced approximately 800,000 people within and from Abidjan and resulted in hundreds of deaths, according to OCHA.
Continued refugee flows from Côte d’Ivoire are increasing food security pressures in eastern Liberia, according to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP). The USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reported that communities hosting refugees in Nimba County had depleted nearly all cassava stocks and 60 percent of rice stocks—food stocks that normally last until August or September—by February. Recent increases in food prices as a result of disrupted supply chains aggravate the situation.
The U.N. issued a revised Regional Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan (EHAP) for Côte d’Ivoire and neighboring countries on April 8, modifying funding requirements from $32.7 million to $160.4 million. On April 12, the Government of France and the European Commission pledged financial assistance of $577 million and $260 million, respectively, to support Côte d’Ivoire’s post-conflict recovery and reconstruction process.