More than two months have passed since 30,000 refugees escaped to the Salesian Center in Duekoue and the situation remains desperate. The threat of violence continues in the wake of a controversial presidential election back in November. Until the situation stabilizes, tens of thousands of refugees will suffer.
While some families are able to return to their homes, they are too fearful to leave the safety and support of Salesian care – despite severe overcrowding and the lack of many basic necessities. Other families are homeless after rioters burned and looted entire communities.
The Salesians have placed an urgent request for international agencies to establish a refugee camp that could at least guarantee adequate hygiene. However, there has been little progress and no word on when a refugee camp will be up and running.
In the meantime, Salesian missionaries in Duekoue are doing everything possible to accommodate the most urgent needs of the refugees and are tirelessly committed to their wellbeing.