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Mali / Côte d'Ivoire: Help for Ivorian refugees

10-10-2002 News Release 02/41

In response to events in Côte d'Ivoire since 19 September, a team composed of staff from the ICRC and the Mali Red Cross surveyed the areas along the border between the two countries on 5 and 6 October in order to assess the need for humanitarian aid, in particular in Sikasso, the regional capital, and Zégoua, a Malian border town.

The team noted the presence in the area of two groups of refugees, numbering 292 and 314 people respectively. The first was living in a transit camp in Zégoua, the second was spread out among four sites in Sikasso. Most are people from southern Côte d'Ivoire who had been working in the north of the country. They said that they had fled into Mali for fear of being attacked by northerners.

The refugees, in particular those in Zégoua, mostly lacked food and were sleeping on the bare ground. Where needed, the Red Cross provided each family (on average eight persons) with 50 kg of rice, five litres of cooking oil, five bars of soap, a plastic bucket and a large sleeping mat. Eighty families were aided in this way.