As many as 1 million Ivorians have fled fighting in the main city of Abidjan, with others uprooted across the country, the U.N. refugee agency said Friday as violence escalated in a four-month power struggle.
"The massive displacement in Abidjan and elsewhere is being fueled by fears of all-out war," Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said at a news briefing in Geneva. "Between 700,000 and 1 million could now be displaced," according to Washington Post.
The UN has set up an international probe into the post-election violence in the Ivory Coast, agreeing to dispatch an independent international commission of inquiry to the country.
This comes as France and Nigeria on Friday introduced a UN resolution imposing new sanctions on Gbagbo and his allies. French Ambassador to the UN Gerard Araud told reporters that the draft would be discussed next week.
The draft urges an end to the violence against the civilians. It would also impose an international travel ban and freeze the assets of Gbagbo and other close allies, Press TV reports.