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Tao-Zeo residents slowly return home after political crisis forced them out

Residents in the village of Tao-Zeo have started to return to their burnt and doorless homes after months of displacement, IRIN reports.

Political violence began following Cote d'Ivoire's November 2010 presidential election and spread through parts of the country. Issues were based on past land disputes in parts of the west between Guere landowners and outside groups farming on bits of their land, according to the news outlet.

This town became the target to be made an example out of, the news source reports. The town was attacked by armed men shortly after the election, leaving thousands homeless.

As more people continue to come back, many are living without doors or proper roofs.

"For now we’ve got no choice. We sleep in this house with no door. Too many mosquitoes and zero security," Dié Honoré, a Toa-Zéo resident who returned to the village, told the news source. “We urgently need help putting doors back on our homes so people will have the courage to live back in the village."

Although some are returning, the fear of danger lurking all around has left many too scared to start farming their crops again.

"I have a huge plantation of cocoa - I don’t even go there," Honore told the news source. "Since the war we fear going to our plantations to work… The assailants, when they came during the war, they killed a lot of people in the bush, in our plantations, so we are still afraid to go there."

For many villagers, the thought of going back to their homes is far too risky, so many have been residing in Duekoue at sites for internally displaced persons (IDPs). Humanitarian groups like the UN Refugee Agency have continued to bring aid to those without homes.
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