Note: The last fact sheet was dated April 15, 2011.
Fighting resumed between the Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI)—the national army loyal to President Alassane Ouattara—and armed militants in two neighborhoods of Abidjan on April 19, according to international media sources. In efforts to improve security, FRCI are attempting to curb activities by armed combatants loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo in Yopougon neighborhood in western Abidjan and pro-Ouattara militants suspected of causing insecurity in Abobo neighborhood in northern Abidjan.
In other areas of Abidjan, international media report that residents are beginning to return to normal routines. To ensure security, U.N. Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) peacekeepers have conducted nearly 1,000 land, aerial, and mixed patrols since April 17. On April 21, UNOCI announced plans to double the number of peacekeepers in Yopougon neighborhood from 50 to 100.
Despite the challenging operating environment, aid organizations are working to deliver humanitarian assistance to Abidjan residents. On April 16, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) conducted an airlift of relief commodities—including emergency health kits and water bladders—into Abidjan. In addition, several humanitarian agencies have re-opened offices in Abidjan this week following a brief evacuation to northern Côte d’Ivoire due to security concerns.
The situation in western Côte d’Ivoire remains tense due to fears of violence and ongoing land tenure conflicts, according to humanitarian organizations operating in the region. Many of the estimated 30,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the Catholic mission in Duékoué town belong to the Guéré ethnic group—considered Gbagbo supporters—and have expressed unwillingness to return home, citing fears of retaliatory violence from supporters of President Ouattara.
As of April 22, donors have committed or contributed nearly $31 million—or 19 percent—of the $160 million requested by the U.N. Regional Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan (EHAP) for Côte d’Ivoire and neighboring countries. The U.N. EHAP for Liberia is currently 36 percent funded, with donors providing approximately $53 million out of the nearly $147 million requested.