The Ivorian political situation between President- Elect Allasane Quattara and Laurent Gbagbo has led to a huge flow of many refugees into the northeastern and eastern parts of Liberia, especially to the border towns of Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties. The fighting between the two arch rivals Quattara and Gbagbo is too graved to the extent that it could lead to the instability of Liberia despite the presence of huge United Nations Mission in Liberia. What is unfortunate to note is that Liberians are combating each other in Ivory Coast. The wounds from the Liberian civil conflict between some ethnic groups has not being resolved. For instance, there is a history of confusion between the Gios and the Manos on the one hand and the Krahns on the other hand. In fact, there is an intrinsic psychological problem that has developed between the two ethnic groups as the result of the killing of Thomas Qwinonkpa of Nimba County by the Krahn ethnic group and the killing of President Samuel Kanyon Doe by Prince Johnson of the Gio ethnic group and many more situations. It is stated that the two tribes are seriously engaging each other in Ivory Coast. This fighting could lead to an offshoot to another round of the Liberia conflict which will hinder the peace process. When will this intrinsic psychological conflict end between these two ethnic groups? How could Liberians be engaged in another country’s conflict? Interestingly, there is a similarity of ethnic relationship that exists in Ivory Coast and Liberia.
Despite the disarmament of 103, 109 ex-fighters with 27,000 weapons destroyed, there is still challenge of illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the Liberian society. The Liberian National Security Document (2008) stated that 9,000 ex-fighters did not benefit from the Rehabilitation and Reintegration phase of the program. Some of the fighters did not disarm and others crossed the borders to Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Unfortunately, the international borders with these countries are porous and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons are very much likely. The Government of Liberia and the International Community should exert every effort to ensure the Ivory Coast conflict is speedily resolved because there are many variables that could interplay to another Liberian war if the conflict remains unsettled.
The Ivory Coast conflict has the propensity to hinder the peace process in Liberia. Liberians should be cautious about their role in the Ivorian crisis and learn to live in peace and harmony with their neighbor. Every Liberian should know by now that the fourteen years of war brought total destruction and suffering to the people of the country. There will always be socio-economic opportunities for a stable country.
Categories: Issues Tags: cote d'ivoire, Government of Liberia, Human Rights, International Community, Ivorian refugee crisis, ivory coast, Laurent Gbagbo, Liberia, Ouattara, Rehabilitation and Reintegration, UN, UNHCR
2 March 2011 – A United Nations human rights expert today called on the international community to step up efforts to address the impact of the devastating drought in Somalia, warning that the country is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster if action is not taken immediately.
Shamsul Bari, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, noted in a news release that the ongoing drought response is far from meeting the needs of the affected population in terms of access to food, clean water and health.
“The drought situation in the country and the slow international response is extremely serious and may lead to a natural and human disaster,” said Mr. Bari, who visited Somalia, Kenya and Djibouti last month.
“I strongly urge the international community, including the UN, to take immediate and concerted measures to address the dire humanitarian crisis that affects all human rights of the vulnerable Somali population, including women, children and the elderly as well as the internally displaced people (IDP) and minorities,” he said.
The drought is exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation in Somalia, where civilians have been caught up in the fighting pitting forces of the country’s transitional government, who are backed by African Union peacekeepers, against insurgents of the Al-Shabaab armed group and other militants.
Mr. Bari warned that “the drought is now a cause for displacement in Somalia, in addition to conflict,” and expressed his deep concerns over its effect on the life of the population in many regions of Somalia.
“It was with shock and great sadness that during my recent field visit to Mogadishu, Puntland and Somaliland I learnt from local authorities and civil society from the various parts of Somalia that the drought affected population has sought assistance closer to urban areas, such as Mogadishu, where the ongoing fighting presents increased risk for the civilian population.”
Last month UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos had warned that severe drought in Somalia had led to more people becoming internally displaced and others moving into refugee camps across the border in Kenya, as food and water scarcity worsen.
“People are moving due to the deteriorating living conditions and a lack of a way to make a living. Families are said to be selling their assets, including houses and land, to get by and to facilitate their movement to the refugee camps in Kenya,” she told reporters following a visit to the country.
An estimated 2.4 million people – 32 per cent of the country’s 7.2 million people – are in need of relief aid as a result of drought and two decades of conflict.
UN News Center
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