UNCHR Recommends Suspending Asylum Status For Ivory Coast Nationals In 2022

UNCHR Recommends Suspending Asylum Status for Ivory Coast Nationals in 2022

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 04th October, 2021) Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said on Monday that the refugee status of citizens of Cote d'Ivoire living abroad should be lifted next summer given the stabilization of the political situation in the country.

"This regional effort deserves the applause of the entire international community. And in light of the fundamental and durable changes in Cote d'Ivoire ... I am pleased to recommend a general cessation of refugee status for Ivorian refugees to take effect on 30 June 2022," Grandi said in an address at the 72nd session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme.

He thanked the Ivorian government, as well as the governments of Guinea, Ghana, Togo, Liberia, Mauritania, and Mali, for their efforts to enact a strategy to resolve the issue of displaced Ivorian refugees unable to return to their homes for decades due to violence.

The next objective is to proceed with voluntary repatriation of Ivorians, as well as aid in obtaining residence permits or citizenship in receiving countries for them, Grandi said.

Hundreds of thousands of Ivorians fled to neighboring countries due to violence that erupted following the 2010 presidential election, when former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down and admit defeat in the presidential election to opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara. The country's Independent Electoral Commission recognized Ouattara's victory, while the Constitutional Council, dominated by Gbagbo's supporters, backed the latter. The controversy led to a civil war that claimed thousands of lives.

Ouattara has since won three presidential elections each of which sparked violence. However, the parliamentary elections this March went peacefully and won his RHDP party an absolute majority in the legislature.