To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and -– more profoundly -– our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.
Up to one million people have fled Ivory Coast to safer areas amid fears of an all-out civil war, the UN refugee agency has said.
The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other aid agencies said they have been unable to access the country’s west due to the fighting in the capital and other areas.
It cited estimates of between 700,000 and one million people displaced, largely from the city of Abidjan, including the heavily-populated districts of Abobo, Adjamame, Williamsville and Yopougon.
“The massive displacement in Abidjan and elsewhere is being fuelled by fears of all-out war,” Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, on Friday said in Geneva.
I am not saying that American military assets should be used to protect civilians in Cote D’Ivoire. But I am saying that the international community needs to step up its response to an impending atrocity there. Quickly. SS-2010-CIV-0328