Several people have been killed in an attack on a UN-protected displaced persons camp in western Ivory Coast, where angry youths torched the site despite the presence of the peacekeepers, sources said.
The United Nations condemned Friday’s attack, in which it said at least seven people were killed and 13 wounded. The UN also promised to boost its mission in the area.
The UN secretary general’s special representative in the Ivory Coast, Bert Koenders, deplored “this criminal act, a flagrant violation of international humanitarian rights”.
However, he did not explain why the contingent of UN soldiers charged with protecting the camp had not been able to prevent the killings.
The deaths came after four people were killed in an attack late on Thursday in the Kokoma district of Duekoue, inhabited mostly by ethnic Malinke.
Local sources said that, following Thursday’s incident, youths from Kokoma torched the displaced persons’ camp at Niambly on the outskirts of town, in an apparent revenge attack. The camp is populated mainly by Guere people.
“They went to the camp, first of all destroyed the entrance, then burned down the camp,” a security source said.
A staff member at the local hospital said “several dozen people” had arrived with knife wounds after the attack.
Crisis and ethnicity
The 5,000 people who were in the camp had fled there during the last year’s post-election crisis sparked by ex-president Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to admit defeat to current leader Alassane Ouattara. Read more…