An estimated 10,087 people have fled the Ivory Coast fearing violence following the disputed presidential polls held on Oct.31, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said in a report Wednesday.
“Numbers continue to rise as tensions persist. More than 90 per cent of the new arrivals have fled to Liberia, where relief items, food and cash-based interventions are being delivered,” the report said.
Many of the fleeing refugees are opting to be based near the border “to observe the situation and return as soon as the situation returns to normal,” the UNHCR said.
At least 5,500 people are estimated to be internally displaced Persons (IDPs) in Ivory Coast due to the violence triggered by the presidential elections, which left at least 12 people dead due to “intercommunity clashes in Abidjan and the central and western regions.”
Some media reports, meanwhile, claimed that the post-election violence in the country has left at least 85 people killed and over 480 others injured.
“UNHCR has set up contingency plans and is engaging with authorities and humanitarian partners,” while all Ivory Coast’s neighboring countries “guarantee access to asylum on their territory despite border restrictions due to COVID19,” the UN agency report said.
The report came at a time when Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara turned down the opposition’s transition call as unrest continues following last month’s controversial elections.
“For all those who have an idea about a transition, they can always dream. There will be no transition in Ivory Coast,” Ouattara said at a political meeting on late Tuesday.
The remarks came a week after the president agreed to talk with the opposition.
Along with other demands, the opposition insists that Ouattara must give up power if dialogue is to continue.
The Oct. 31 elections saw a boycott and call for civil disobedience from the opposition over Ouattara’s candidacy, who went on to win a controversial third term as president.
In his speech on Tuesday, the president said he was “outraged” by the violence and called for peace.