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Liberia, the Ivorian refugees
2011

The political chaos of the presidential elections in Ivory Coast is rebounding on its neighbouring states. Dozen of thousands of refugees from Ivory Coast have crossed the Liberian border in order to avoid the fights between the army loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo and the armed groups of the new elected president Alassane Ouattara, supported by the International Community.

The Nimba County, and the villages near Cestos River which is the border between Ivory Coast and Liberia, shelter the majority of the refugees.
Most of them have settled in Butuo, a village located near the river and which is the main official border crossing of the region. Then, refugees have joined the fifteen “welcoming” villages of the county where locals take in their neighbours from Ivory Coast who are often relatives.

As refugees stay longer and longer day, the humanitarian and sanitary situation is more and more under pressure. Food stocks reducing and access to clean water are the main issues caused by this increase of population.
Unfortunately, just a few of them agree to go in the transit camp set up by UNHCR and Doctors Without Borders. Most of the refugees want to stay near the border in order to wait for news from their family or to get back in their village, seeking for goods.

In the Bahn Refugees Camp, set up for 15000 people, there are just 1500 refugees. But it’s in those camps that food distribution and medical cares are delivered.

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