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Cross border assessment between Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire (January and February 2012)


Security and Stabilization:
- Impact of Ethnic and Political Factors
- Perspectives of Liberian and Ivorian Combatants
- Circulation of Small Arms and Light Weapons
- Perceptions of and Capacity of State Security Authorities
- Conflict Issues: Land Tenure
- Youth at Risk
- Return and Reintegration of Ivorian and Liberian Refugees/IDPs

Food Security and livelihoods:
• Key stabilization factors and influence on food security
• Cross-border trade and markets
• Land tenure, access to land, ethnicity and social cohesion factors


Security trends and threat : All interviews were semi-structured individual interviews (with the exception of one focus group discussion with women’s groups in Toulepleu area and IDP camp in Tai) and lasted an average of 70 minutes. Key informants provided access to local populations. Due to the nature of the information, interviewees were not tape recorded since it would be misconstrued as collecting evidence on security issues. Interviews took place between January 23, 2012 – February 17, 2012, with the exception of UNOCI staff based in Abidjan who provided informal interviews on March 7 and 8, 2012. The aim of the 5 interviews is to provide a clear independent analysis of the security and stabilization situation on both sides of the border.

Food security : All interviews were semi-structured focus group with local leaders and village committees’ members, followed by transect walk and series of unstructured interviews with households, groups and individuals which enabled the team to gain a clear understanding of the people living condition.
In both countries, the field trips were accompanied by members of WFP, FAO and Ministry of Agriculture. In Côte d’Ivoire, the Cross-border evaluation team joined the 2011 crop assessment mission organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of animal and fishing resources, the FAO and the WFP. The same assessment was done in Liberia but without the cross-border team.

Key findings: 

Ivorian returnees and IDPs have a real and perceived threat of violence. In addition, there is a genuine fear of being targeted if they return. As such, agencies need to bear in mind the population is traumatized which feeds on real and perceived insecurity. Liberians seemed to be used as the scapegoat for all conflict in the Toulepleu and Tai region. While Liberians have most likely participated in the skirmishes after Ouattara’s inauguration, they are not the sole or primary actor.
The number of refugees in the camps will continue to decline especially with the beginning of the agricultural period. However, many refugees have shown their willingness to stay in the camp for the moment as the Ivorian government has not initiated a process of disarmament and said the pro-Gbagbo can enter into Côte D’Ivoire safely or that rumors of insecurity will persist in some areas or to resolved the problem of access to land.
UNHCR has begun facilitating voluntary returns of Ivorian refugees to Côte D’Ivoire At the time of interview, UNHCR Harper spoke about the facilitated returns but NGOs were quick to point out that while facilitated had begun in Nimba and Grand Gedeh, it had yet to commence in Harper. The issue of a clear unified message is important – as is transparency.
Successful return and reintegration of all populations is vital to further stability in the region. Liberian combatants cannot be ignored in the reintegration process and must be considered through the RRR department for those in Liberia and the DDR department for those in Côte D’Ivoire. In other words, any DDR process in Côte D’Ivoire cannot ignore this population if they want to ensure stability in the Toulepleu, Guiglo, and Tai areas. In order for that to occur, effective SSR and DDR must be allowed alongside with reconciliation and addressing land tenure.

Sample size: 
Assessment Report: 
Assessment Questionnaire: 
Not Available
Assessment Data: 
Not Available
- Private group -
Assessment Date(s): 
02 Jan 2012 to 29 Feb 2012

Level of Representation

Report completed
Unit(s) of Measurement: 
Collection Method(s): 
Structured Interview
Unstructured Interview
Focus group discussion
Field Interview
Population Type(s): 
All affected population
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
United Nations Development Programme
Côte d'Ivoire
Other location: