September 21, 2002 - Peace Corps Press Release: Volunteers Accounted For In Ivory Coast

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 09 September 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: September 21, 2002 - Peace Corps Press Release: Volunteers Accounted For In Ivory Coast

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, September 22, 2002 - 7:19 am: Edit Post

Volunteers Accounted For In Ivory Coast





Read and comment on this press release from the Peace Corps that as rebel forces clashed with government forces, Peace Corps staff has personally contacted 97 volunteers in the Ivory Coast putting them on standfast, which is the first stage of alert requiring each volunteer to be located, contacted and await instructions at:

Volunteers Accounted For In Cote d'Ivoire*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.



Volunteers Accounted For In Cote d'Ivoire

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 20, 2002-All Peace Corps volunteers in Cote díIvoire are accounted for after rebel forces clashed with government forces. Two major cities outside of Abidjan, Boauke and Korogho are being held by rebel forces while the government continues to try and regain control. The fighting has occurred mainly near government buildings and city centers and a curfew is in effect from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. daily. Abidjan remains under the control of the government.

Peace Corps has 139 volunteers serving in Cote díVoire, of this number nine volunteers were living in Peace Corpsí regional housing in Korogho and were safely relocated today. The remaining volunteers in this region are within a safe distance from the rebelís activities.

As of 6:00 p.m. eastern standard time Peace Corps staff has personally contacted 97 volunteers putting them on standfast, which is the first stage of alert requiring each volunteer to be located, contacted and await instructions. Priority for contacting volunteers was determined by proximity to rebel activity.

Staff continues to make contact with the remaining 42 volunteers who are located in the unaffected areas of the region. The country director is in constant phone contact with the volunteers and staff is monitoring the situation around the clock.

Regular updates will be posted as new information becomes available.




Read and comment on this latest news from CNN on the rebel uprising in the Ivory Coast at:

Ivory Coast rebel uprising spreads

Ivory Coast rebel uprising spreads

Saturday, September 21, 2002 Posted: 9:44 AM EDT (1344 GMT)

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (CNN) -- A rebel uprising in the Ivory Coast has entered its third day and continues to spread to other parts of the West African country.

Residents in the northern city of Bouake reported overnight gunfire, and said it was an assault by rebel forces on a pocket of government troops, Janine DiGiovanni, a reporter for The Times of London, said on Saturday.

The motive for the uprising is unclear. Initially the rebels said they staged the uprising because of government plans to demobilize the troops, loyal to Gen. Robert Guei, who led a military coup in 1999 but was ousted after elections in 2001.

Officials said Guei was killed in the fighting, but there was no independent confirmation. However, some rebels have denied they were under Guei's command.

Violence in Abidjan on Saturday seemed to be in the form of ethnic reprisals against mainly Muslim refugees from neighboring Burkina Faso. Houses were being burnt to the ground there.

In Bouake, about 200 miles north of coastal Abidjan, nearly 750 rebels were reportedly regrouping Saturday and have vowed not to leave the city without a bloody fight.

Further north, in Korhogo, rebels were reportedly handing out guns to civilians and driving through the streets, shooting their weapons into the air.

Bodies of the dead littered the streets of Abidjan on Friday, the results of fighting that began at about 3 a.m. on Thursday and continued throughout the day.

Interior Minister Emile Boga Doudou was also killed in the uprising. Government sources also said that Sports Minister Genevieve Bro Grebe was kidnapped along with the wife of Defence Minister Lyda Koussa.

The mutinous soldiers are believed to be well organised and well armed, with ground-to-ground missiles, which has officials fearing the revolt could lead to further destabilisation within the Ivory Coast, and perhaps neighbouring countries.

The revolt prompted President Laurent Gbagbo to cancel a meeting in Rome with Pope John Paul II on Friday. Gbagbo left from a military airport near Rome, according to the Italian Foreign Ministry, but officials would not reveal his destination.

The president had been scheduled to return home on Saturday.




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