Ivory Coast: ‘We can't leave our houses’ - Metro US

Ivory Coast: ‘We can’t leave our houses’

Morisson Kassi lives in Abidjan in the African country of Ivory Coast. He told us about volatile situation in the city where he lives:

What is the situation like?

People are in their homes. They are afraid to go out. They fear the violence. There are armed men on the streets. People need food and water. However, food is becoming more difficult to buy. The prices are going up every day.

What is it like on the streets?

There is a lot of violence. People need to go out if they want to eat. In some areas, the water has been cut off for two or three days. Helicopters fly over the city.

News channels show pictures of civilians walking on the streets with their hands in the air, why is that?

You walk with your hands in the air to show you are unarmed. It does not help much though.

How are you doing?

I am okay. There are soldiers in the areas around our house, but not really in my street. Most of the gunfights are at the police stations. In the night, the violence is worse. People knock on the doors saying that they are from the United Nations. But when people open the door it is not the U.N. Then it is too late. Armed gangs take everything.

Which side are those armed gangs from?

I can’t tell. I only know that they do not care about ordinary citizens. People have to lock their doors carefully in the night and keep them closed. They can come from any direction.

How are civilians under these circumstances?

This morning, I could tell that people are getting exhausted. People need to go out for food and water. They have to do this fast. At 12 o’clock, everyone has to be inside. You have two hours to find food and water. There is a curfew.

What should happen next?

People don’t know. Everyone hopes that this situation comes to an end quickly. If there is no solution after this weekend, it will get even more difficult for us. We have no money, no aid, no water, no electricity. It will be difficult living here.

What will you do today?

I will look for food and water, and hope I will succeed. For today we have run out of water. I hope this evening the water is connected again.

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