Albertine Yahwah sits on a hard wooden bench, cradling her little baby in her arms. The 20 year-old walked from the Ivory Coast with her two children and her husband to reach this small town across the border in Northern Liberia.
Avoiding the main roads, she trekked in her slippers through forests and over broken bridges. It took her three days. Exhausted and hungry, the young mother explains why she fled her home and the country she loves.
“In my village, while we were voting, Gbagbo people came to force us to vote for them and then Outtara people would come and force you to vote for them. That’s why I got scared and I came,” she says. Albertine comes from Danane, the heartland of Allassane Ouattara’s rebel- held north. The former Prime Minister was declared the new President in the November elections before the courts overturned the result.
The Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, who has support in the Christian south, issued a rival claim to victory but then the UN Security Council passed a resolution to formally recognise Ouattara as the President. It has left the country split down the middle, with two Presidents trying to claim power. The army and security forces back Gbagbo while Ouattara has support from former rebels, the UN, African leaders and the West.
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