Many people wouldn't know where Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is on a map of Africa; it's a little paradise that has turned into a war zone. A place full of hospitable people, sandy beaches, great food with mercenaries, kalashikovs & some dangerous politicians determined to wipe out half the population.
Last night was terrible. The constant fighting in Abidjan I was hearing about on Twitter and friends telling me of their plans or their situation. I don't care who is in power, the violence needs to be stopped by a responsible force before the whole region is inflicted by the Double Presidential Virus.
In the space of 2-3hours I was at my wits end trying to find a way to assist friends, friends of friends, orphanages & towns in the south east of the country ... I'm still fighting what looks to be a losing battle. The aid is going west, to Liberia & the displaced refugees there. They need it, I don't doubt that.
The world has forgotten Cote d'Ivoire. It's just 'another conflict', the BBC & AlJazeera are trying to do their best with reports but CNN etc don't seem to care despite Anderson Cooper initially offering media support. Libya is more important due to oil, Japan has had a terrible time of it & the states in the Middle East are all trying to mount their own revolutions - strangely it's also all oil related ... What does Cote d'Ivoire have to do to get centre stage in the media? The fact that chocolate prices will rise which was the only selfish theme keeping the country in the news has been forgotten.
So genocide doesn't count? It will be another Rwanda that when all these other world news items fade out, the world will pick up on & then feel sorry. It'll be too late, just like Rwanda! The UN are there, but behave like camera touting tourists, there to protect the population but in fact just counting the bodies that lie dead in the streets of Abidjan.
What can you do? Anyone reading this with ideas, please put them forward in the 'comments' below ... I am ready to return with a NGO if I can find one who will let me assist in the situation but need help particularly in assisting the SE of the country.
Shelter - refugee camps for internally displaced in this area, a town mayor has told me of 420+ refugees in his town, more to count & more arriving daily. They don't have room for these families, they need temporary shelter and will need medicines etc if these numbers continue to grow as the risk of disease will be high. Childrens orphanages; children who need food & will probably need to move out to the countryside from the densely populated areas if this continues
Does anyone care? Or will everyone wake up when the genocide has taken place???
Yako mes amis ...