September 26, 2002 - VOA: Peace Corps Relocating Volunteers in Ivory Coast

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 09 September 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: September 26, 2002 - VOA: Peace Corps Relocating Volunteers in Ivory Coast

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, September 26, 2002 - 4:02 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Relocating Volunteers in Ivory Coast

Read and comment on this press release from the Peace Corps that they are in the process of relocating all of the 133 volunteers who are in Cote d’Ivoire, Africa at:

Peace Corps Relocating Volunteers 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.

Peace Corps Relocating Volunteers in Cote d’Ivoire

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 26, 2002 -- UPDATE 1:00 p.m. (EST) Peace Corps is in the process of relocating all of the 133 volunteers who are in Cote d’Ivoire, Africa. This relocation is being conducted in coordination with the U. S. Embassy in Abidjan and the Department of State in Washington. Both the Peace Corps and the Department of State confirm that all volunteers have been contacted and are accounted for. The safety and security of volunteers remains the highest priority of the Peace Corps.

According to the latest State Department announcement, there is an authorized departure of non-emergency and Embassy personnel and their dependents. There are approximately 2,300 U.S. citizens who reside in Cote d'Ivoire. There have been no reports of attacks against Americans, Europeans, or their property.

Family members may make inquiries about Cote d’Ivoire/Peace Corps volunteers from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by calling 800.424.8580, extension 1470. After hours, inquiries may be referred to the Peace Corps Duty Officer at 202.638.2574 or via email at Peace Corps continues to monitor the situation and regular updates will be posted as new information becomes available.

French Troops Prepare to Evacuate Foreigners from Bouake

Caption: A convoy of French soldiers leave the airport in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast for a position closer to Bouake on Tuesday Sept. 24, 2002. French troops are ready to protect and if necessary evacuate foreigners in the standoff between rebel soldiers and loyalist troops in the Ivory Coast. (AP Photo /Christine Nesbitt)

Read and comment on the following story on the situation in the Ivory Coast from VOA at:

French Troops Prepare to Evacuate Foreigners from Bouake

French Troops Prepare to Evacuate Foreigners from Bouake

Luis Ramirez

French troops in Ivory Coast are preparing to evacuate French nationals and other foreigners from the rebel-held city of Bouake. Nations in the region are demonstrating support for the Ivory Coast government.

Nigeria led efforts to assist the government of Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, by sending three fighter jets to Abidjan.

Military sources in Ivory Coast, who did not wish to be identified, said the aircraft would be used to fly over rebel targets, and possibly for attacking the rebels.

French troops said they would evacuate the hundreds of Westerners who have been trapped in Bouake since mutinous soldiers staged a revolt in the city and other parts of the country on September 19.

France moved troops into the city on Wednesday.

French forces moved a group of 160 school children, most of them Americans and 39 staffers from a missionary school in Bouake to neighboring Ghana. U.S. troops have been standing by to assist with evacuation efforts.

Rebels remain in control Bouake, following fierce gun and mortar battles between loyalist troops and rebels. Witnesses said they saw approximately 100 bodies of soldiers at the city morgue. It is not clear if they were the corpses of loyalists or rebels who were killed during this week's fighting.

Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Bouake in support of the mutinous soldiers. They called for the removal of President Laurent Gbagbo.

In Abidjan, government officials broadcast a message saying they were preparing to launch an offensive to free Bouake from the rebels.

Demonstrators took to the streets of the main city for a second day to express their support for the government.

Although Nigeria said it had no plans to deploy troops, there was an indication that foreign troops might become involved in the conflict.

During a visit to Abidjan, the head of the multi-national Economic Community of West African States said he would not rule out the deployment of peacekeeping forces by the organization.

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