Ban Ki-moon visits IDP camps in Abidjan

09:26, May 24, 2011      

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who is on a visit to Cote d'Ivoire has visited camps for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Abidjan's Cocody district.

He used his visit on Sunday to express the United Nation's solidarity with those who were displaced and also promised that the United Nations will assist in the efforts to rapidly restore normality in Cote d'Ivoire.

"Many amongst you lost their houses and family members. You all witnessed terrible things. I am really sorry. I want you to know that my heart is with you and this is why I am here to express my solidarity with you, to offer you support and hope that normality will be restored rapidly," Ban said when he addressed IDPs at the Union of evangelical churches camp.

This camp which has 159 men, women and children, has received aid from humanitarian agencies, especially the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Program (WFP).

He recalled that the UN had assisted the IDP camps like this one by supplying water, drugs, food, beddings, providing drainage services and other essential services.

He also pointed out that the displaced persons will not be forced to return to their homes if they are not ready to do so.

"This is a fundamental principle of international law. Forced repatriation is against this law," he said.

He noted that the swearing in of the new president will open the door for Cote d'Ivoire to exploit her immense economic potentials.

"I have no doubt in my mind that Cote d'Ivoire will once more become what she always was for a very long time: a pillar of stability, prosperity and peace in the whole of Africa," the UN secretary general added.

"The UN was besides you at the height of the recent crisis, we shall remain with you during your country's reconstruction process, " he promised.

The UN secretary general was on a visit to Cote d'Ivoire to attend the swearing in ceremony of President Alassane Ouattara on May 21 in Yamoussoukro, the country's political capital.

Source: Xinhua
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