82,000 displaced by I.Coast crisis: IOM

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At least 82,000 people have been displaced within or outside Ivory Coast during the political crisis in the country, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said Friday.

"Nearly 82,000 people have either been displaced within or outside of Cote d'Ivoire since the crisis began though it is very likely that the true figure is higher," said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, spokesman for the IOM.

These include 34,500 people who have sought refuge in Liberia, while some 42,000 others have been recorded as displaced within Ivory Coast itself, said Chauzy.

Mali has also received 2,585 people in recent weeks, including Malians returning home from Ivory Coast.

Nearly 1,800 Guinean migrants have left Ivory Coast for their home country in recent weeks, while small numbers of Ivorian refugees have also been registered in Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin and Togo.

"The longer the crisis continues, the greater the potential for a mass population movement," said Eugenio Ambrosi, the IOM director general's special envoy to the region.

"We are not just talking about Ivorians being displaced, but also migrants," he warned.

© 2011 AFP

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