Over 300,000 still displaced in Ivory Coast

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Over 300,000 people are still displaced in Ivory Coast almost two months after the end of the country's post-election crisis, the UN refugees agency said Tuesday.

"Over the past three weeks, UNHCR and our partners have registered 322,277 internally displaced people across the country and registration is ongoing," said Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Most were in the west, north and in the economic capital, Abidjan.

"They told our assessment teams that there are others still hiding in the bush," added Fleming.

While the situation in the west is improving, Fleming said tensions were still high in the southwestern Sassandra region where over 280 civilians were killed in early May by supporters of former president Laurent Gbagbo.

"An estimated 17,000 people are displaced in the region, including an unknown number reportedly still hiding in the forest," she said.

Alassane Ouattara was sworn in as president on May 21 after a nearly five-month battle with Gbagbo, who rejected the UN-backed election commission's ruling that he lost November presidential elections.

© 2011 AFP

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