Another Outbreak of Bloodshed in Africa

Political unrest has caused one million to flee from their homes

In the battleground that is now Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), civilians are being killed both incidentally and intentionally within what has evolved into a brutal war between forces loyal to two different political leaders.

Since the Nov. 2010 presidential elections, which declared Alassane Ouattara the new president, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo has failed to yield power peacefully, inciting army forces closest to him to disrupt the transition.

Ivory Coast’s largest city and economic capital Abidjan has seen the most bullets exchanged, but reports have recently surfaced that the cocoa-producing Western city Duekoue has been the victim of what the Red Cross is citing as a massacre. Nearly 800 people have been found dead in Duekoue.

With atrocities surfacing in Duekoue, the death toll overall of this conflict is approximated at 1,300.

Reports say that the civilians victims are both those that are caught in the clashes as well as people that have been specifically targeted as part of hatred-infused vengeance that represents the residual divisions within the country (that date back to a 2002 civil war).

In addition to the deaths, due to the massive violence, more than a million people have been fled their homes, many of them spilling into neighboring Liberia.

A citizen in Abidjan, Tano Kouadio, is now the host of 16 others who were forced to flee their respective neighborhoods after being denounced as pro-Ouattara supporters.

As echoed by Kouadio, those that now fear for their lives are wondering where the international community is in the same way that aid rushing to Libya.

“My worst fear is that the international community will allow killings to occur in Côte d’Ivoire since our country is not of major importance on a global level.”

Tano and others like him are urging prayer and to speak up about the injustices in Côte d’Ivoire.

Unless Gbagbo steps aside, the battle is set to continue to wage on.