Oliver Cooper, chairperson of the Liberian Community in Ivory Coast, said most of the killings took place in Douekoe, San Pedro, Abidjan, Tabou Daloa, and other parts of the country.
Mr. Cooper said summary executions of Liberia
ns are widespread in the towns of Tabou and Douekoe. The Liberian Community leader said they had hoped the capture of former President Laurent Gbagbo would
have ended the killings but renew killings have sparked off. Mr. Cooper said 1,300 of them (Liberian) have taken refuge at their headquarters in Abidjan Citywith no protection and access to food. The Liberian refugees expressed grave concern about what they considered “blind-eye approach” to their deplorable plight in wake of Ivory Coast crisis by their government.
The Dailly Observer said returning Liberian refugees who lived in the Ivory coast since the Liberian civil war told their correspondent in Maryland County that they were extremely disappointed in the Liberian government’s failure to
advocate for their safety through diplomatic means as other countries did.
“All the Liberian government cared for was to ensure that its ambassador was out and safe. In Abidjan, we are being targeted by the forces loyal to Alassan Ouattara on grounds that some of our Liberian brothers joined their conflict as mercenaries brought in by the Gbagbo camp. So, there is this ongoing reprisal against us,” Cooper said.
Mr. Cooper said he can recalled on December 16, 2011, following the announcement on state television and radio stations by Ouattara Prime Minister Guillaume Soro that Liberian mercenaries were helping Gbagbo loyalists against the Republican Forces — Liberians became the target. “Since that day, I can safely tell the world that most of the dead at massacre sites are Liberians who, for fear of reprisal, sought refuge in cluster communities.
Deputy Information Minister Norris Tweh, told the Daily Observer that government was doing everything to ensure the safety and protection of Liberians living in the Ivory Coast.
Minister Tweh said the Liberian embassy in Abidjan was still opened; adding that the ambassador simply visited Monrovia for consultation with government but was never recalled due to the escalating nature of the violence in Abidjan. The Deputy Minister said there was no information reaching the Liberian Foreign Ministry of the killing of Liberians in Cote d’Ivoire. ” that assertion could only be substantiated if those killed could be identified by names, passports or any genuine travelling documents”, the Deputy Minister said
In Tabou, the first largest commercial town across the border from Liberia (through Maryland County), about 60 km away, thousands of Liberians are said to be taking refuge at a Red Cross compound. However, there are reports of immense pressures being placed on them to leave the compound [reportedly] by the Republican Forces who recently took control of the town following an encounter with their rivals.
Thomas Brownell, a Liberian refugee also taking refuge in the Red Cross compound, said there was a meeting held between the Republican Forces and the Red Cross staff last week.At that meeting, he added, the forces demanded that the Red Cross closes its camp and have everyone returned to his/her respective area of residence.
“But, how can we return to our areas when nightfall has become the time for marauding beasts to prey on us? We are sleeping in this opened field. We have no access to food and water. And we dare not step outside.
At the same time, there are reports of massive secret killings in parts of the crisis-torn country, Cote d’Ivoire.
Speaking to a fresh batch of six wounded fighters who were recently brought to a local hospital in Harper, the Daily Observer gathered that there were widespread secret killings of members of tribes loyal to former president Gbagbo in most parts of the country.
The Observer says of the wounded men told them: “We will ensure that the Dioula (Mandingo) will not remain in power in our homeland. They burn our villages, so, in return, we burn their homes. I will return as soon as I get well. We are of the Grebo ethnic group.”
The New Dispensation contacted the Ivory Embassy and United Nations Mission here in the United States on the claim and situation of Liberians refugees in Ivory Coast but both it seem both missions are not in operation as the phone rang for the longest with no one answering or answer machines to leave message.
The Liberian Embassy was also contacted in Washington DC but Mr. Gabriel Williams, Public Affairs Officer told the TND that the embassy does not have any direct information on the situation in the Ivory Coast but takes cues from Monrovia and what ever the Information Ministry have said concerning the plight Liberians in Ivory Coast is what they are guided by. Mr. Williams however stressed that the Liberian government is doing everything possible to ensure the safety of Libnerians in Ivory Coast.