Additional 2000 UN Peacekeepers to be Sent to Ivory Coast

January 19, 2011 Updated: January 19, 2011

[xtypo_dropcap]T[/xtypo_dropcap]he United Nations will deploy an additional 2000 peacekeepers to the Ivory Coast to prevent the post-electoral violence in the country from becoming genocide, the international organization announced Wednesday.

The UN currently has nearly 9000 troops in the West African country. Violence in the Ivory Coast has intensified since incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after losing elections almost two months ago.

According to the UN, Gbagbo loyalists have launched attacks and there has been an outbreak of ethnic fighting.

“We remain gravely concerned about the possibility of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing in Côte d’Ivoire,” said Francis Deng, UN advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, at a press conference.

The northern part of the Ivory Coast has a mostly Muslim population with a predominantly Christian population in the south.

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