Ivory Coast situation worrying - MSF
Abidjan - The humanitarian situation in western Ivory Coast, which saw the bloodiest violence in post-election unrest, was alarming, a top global medical aid group warned on Tuesday.
"The humanitarian situation in western Ivory Coast is very worrying," a senior official with Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF/Doctors Without Borders) told a press conference in Abidjan.
"We are very pre-occupied by the security situation in the west" near the Liberian border, where more than 25 cases of rape were reported recently, said Issiaka Abdou, the head of the MSF-France mission to the country.
Roadblocks manned by armed groups prevent people from reaching hospitals and clinics and "the need for medicines is mounting", he warned.
Western Ivory Coast saw some of the deadliest violence that followed a disputed presidential election last November and the United Nations warned on Friday of an "acute" food crisis in the region where some 170 000 people were still displaced out of a nationwide total of 250 000.
Twenty-three people were killed in the region as recently as September 18 in an attack the authorities blamed on Liberian mercenaries.
The violence in the western African country erupted following a presidential election after which former leader Laurent Gbagbo refused to give up power to the victor, Alassane Ouattara.