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Aid For Côte D'ivoire Could Stave Off Instability

UN SAYS AID FOR CÔTE D'IVOIRE COULD STAVE OFF RENEWED REGIONAL INSTABILITY

New York, Feb 19 2004 5:00PM

Failure to increase international assistance to post-conflict Côte d'Ivoire for the disarmament of its militias could lead to the destabilization of precarious neighbouring countries, the United Nations aid coordinating office said today.

With disarmament proceeding in Liberia and completed in Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire "must receive international support" for similar efforts to consolidate regional gains, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said . "If not, Côte d'Ivoire could jeopardize its neighbours' fragile recovery."

Before conflict broke out in Côte d'Ivoire, 25 per cent of its population was immigrants or descendants of immigrants from bordering States, according to OCHA. About 70 per cent of all exports from Mali and 80 per cent of those from Burkina Faso moved through the Côte d'Ivoire's Abidjan port.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees ( UNHCR) has registered 52,000 Ivoirian refugees who fled their country as fierce fighting raged and basic services broke down, OCHA said. Meanwhile, 342,000 Burkinabé and 82,000 Malians migrants also left Côte d'Ivoire.

The consolidated UN appeal requires $69 million in 2004 to meet urgent humanitarian needs and support the return home of half a million internally displaced people (IDPs) in the country.
2004-02-19 00:00:00.000

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news


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