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Liberia Expecting 100,000 Ivory Coast Refugees, Minister Says

Bloomberg News: By Ansu Konneh- Liberia is expecting about 100,000 refugees from Ivory Coast because of the political situation in the neighboring country, Liberia’s Internal Affairs Minister Harrison Kanwea said.

More than 16,000 refugees crossed the border since November, Kanwea told reporters today in the capital, Monrovia.

“The government of Liberia has decided that there will be refugee camps established in Liberia for Ivorian refugees,” he said. The refugees will only be integrated into local communities where international aid groups offer support, Kanwea said.

Laurent Gbagbo has refused to relinquish power in Ivory Coast to Alassane Ouattara, who is regarded by the United Nations, the African Union, the U.S. and France as the winner of a Nov. 28 presidential election. The Economic Community of West African States on Dec. 24 said it would consider using “legitimate force” to remove Gbagbo if he continues to ignore international calls to quit.

More than 170 people have been killed in political violence since the election, according to the UN.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ansu Konneh in Monrovia via Accra at ebowers1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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