14,000 Ivorians flee to Liberia: UN

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About 14,000 Ivorians have fled to neighbouring Liberia to escape violence after contested polls and a political stalemate following strongman Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to quit, the United Nations said Saturday.

"UNHCR has registered a total of 14,000 Ivorian refugees in eastern Liberia who fled in the wake of post-electoral instability in their country for nearly a month now," a statement by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said.

Expressing concern at reports that some people were not being allowed to cross into Liberia by the former New Forces rebel group, it said: "UNHCR is calling for the protection of civilians and respect for the right to seek asylum without hindrance."

© 2010 AFP

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