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Desperation after last IDP refuge razed

Nahibly IDP camp in western Côte d’Ivoire ravaged and torched on 20 July 2012 by a huge mob of up to thousand people. Six IDPs were killed and dozens wounded in the raid that highlighted the insecurity in the country's western region
Nahibly IDP camp, Côte d’Ivoire’s last remaining refuge for the displaced in the volatile western region was raided and torched on 20 July by a huge crowd, sending the more than 5,000 people there to flee for safety (Otto Bakano/IRIN)

On the morning of 20 July, after an attack that killed four people around Duékoué, a town in Côte d'Ivoire's turbulent west, a huge crowd surrounded the nearby Nahibly camp hosting 5,000 internally displaced people (IDPs).

In what has been described as an ethnically driven revenge attack, the mob of between 500 and 1,000 people said to be of armed Malinké men, backed by traditional hunters known as Dozos, stormed the camp and torched it, killing six people and injuring dozens of others. The site was the last remaining IDP camp in Côte d'Ivoire following the 2010-11 election unrest.

Aftermath of the attack

The camp, now empty, hosted mainly Guéré people and supporters of former leader Laurent Gbagbo, who was locked in a bitter dispute after the November 2010 polls with opponent and now President Alassane Ouattara. The Malinkés are seen as Ouattara supporters.

Tension remains high in western Côte d'Ivoire, where land disputes have also triggered clashes.

Many of the displaced people from Nahibly sought refuge at the Catholic mission in Duékoué, the town hall and in the surrounding thicket before returning to their nearby places of origin, which are still largely in ruins. Continued insecurity is making resettlement there difficult.

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This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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