EU ready to lunch humanitarian support to Cote d'Ivoire refugees

20:18, December 23, 2010      

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The European Union (EU) said Thursday that it was prepared to launch a humanitarian action for the refugees fleeing Cote d'Ivoire following the country's presidential election.

An emergency humanitarian aid decision was adopted Wednesday, to ensure aid is available for the victims of the crisis and for those who have sought refuge in neighboring countries, the EU said at a special session of the UN Human Rights Council held in Geneva.

The EU urged all Cote d'Ivoire leaders, both civilian and military, "to put an immediate end to all acts of violence and intimidation," and "to work for a peaceful and rapid handover of power and to ensure the protection and security of the whole civilian population in the country."

The special session was held at the request of Nigeria on behalf of the African Group and the United States, backed by 18 other UN members, to discuss the situation of human rights in Cote d'Ivoire following the dispute and unrest over the country's presidential election.

Kyung-wha Kang, the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the session that the UN human rights team in Cote d'Ivoire had verified allegations of 173 killings, 90 instances of torture and ill treatment, 471 arrests and detentions, and 24 cases of enforced or involuntary disappearance.

In the presidential run-off on Nov. 28, incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and former prime minister and opposition leader Alassane Ouattara competed for the top office of the country.

Ouattara was declared winner of the election by the electoral commission while the Constitutional Council, which had the final say on the results of the poll, said Gbagbo won the vote.

Gbagbo was sworn in as the new president of the west African country by the Constitutional Council, and Ouattara also swore himself in as the president.

The United Nations had endorsed the victory of Ouattara.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Tuesday that more than 6,000 people had fled Cote d'Ivoire into two neighboring countries of Liberia and Guinea, for fear of upheaval in their homeland.

The UNHCR stands ready to cope with an even larger scale of outpouring of refugees.

On Monday the UN Security Council extended the mandate of its peacekeeping mission in Cote d'Ivoire until June 30, 2011, which was initially due to expire on Dec. 31.

The Security Council rejected Gbagbo's presidential order for UN and foreign troops to leave the country.

The United Nations has currently more than 10,000 troops in Cote d'Ivoire.

Source: Xinhua
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