AFRICA/COTE D'IVOIRE - Still deaths in the West, "There are too many weapons in circulation" reports the Bishop of Man

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - "The problem of insecurity is real, especially in areas bordering Liberia. There are too many weapons still in circulation, criminal gangs that attack villages and create roadblocks on the roads" says to Fides His Exc. Mgr. Gaspard Beby Gnéba, Bishop of Man, in the west of Côte d'Ivoire, in whose territory includes the town of Tai, where in recent days at least 4 people died in attacks by armed groups. In the same place, on June 8, according to the most recent toll, 10 civilians, seven peacekeepers from Niger and an Ivorian military were killed in an ambush (see Fides 11/06/2012).
"At the root of this instability, there are political motivations and land struggles for the possession of the land. This last problem existed even before the crisis (arising from the clash between former President Gbagbo and the current Alassane Ouattara, ed.) but has worsened in recent times. Populations from other areas have been established here and argue over land to the local population, " explains Mgr. Gnéba. The instability has forced from their homes at least 5,000 people according to estimates from the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs. The tension is now threatening to spread to the rest of Côte d'Ivoire after the government announced it had foiled, in March, an attempted military coup, organized by elements who have remained loyal to deposed President Gbagbo. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 14/6/2012)