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Africa's IDPs in numbers

Most IDPs in Africa have been forced out of their homes by conflict, either between government forces and armed opponents or between communities.

Here are some numbers:

The country has the largest number of IDPs in Africa with an estimated 4.5 million at the start of the yearAt least 250,000 have been forced to flee their homes by inter-communal violence in Southern Sudan since JanuaryMost IDPs are from the war-ravaged western region of Darfur but there are concerns that with increasing violence, more southerners could become IDPs

An estimated 1.3 million displaced mainly by violence, including 700,000 who have fled the capital, Mogadishu, since FebruaryThe IDP camps lack basic facilities, such as schools, healthcare, water and sanitation, leading to widespread acute malnutrition and diarrhoeaWomen and girls are extremely vulnerable

Since the start of military operations against militia in the east in January, nearly 900,000 people have fled their homes and live in desperate conditions with host families, in forest areas, or in squalid displacement campsThis brought the total of those displaced across North and South Kivu and Orientale Province to at least two million, as at JulyAccess is a major problem for aid agencies

The northern conflict between the government and the Lord's Resistance Army displaced at least 1.8 million people from their homesMost have returned home in the past two or three yearsAbout 494,300 still displaced (in camps plus transit sites), down from 710,000 in February

Government ordered all IDP camps to close in early OctoberMost IDPs were victims of post-election violence in 2008, which forced an estimated 600,000 people out of their homesInter-ethnic tensions over pasture have also displaced families in the north, while flooding has affected some communities in the west

The conflict that erupted in 2002 forced an estimated 120,000 people out of their homes in the west, of whom about 45,000 are still in "transition situations" awaiting their return to their communities

A ceasefire agreement between the government and the armed opposition in 2008 allowed many IDPs to return homeHowever, an estimated 100,000 had still not returned by the end of last yearMost of these live in makeshift homes in the bush, quite close to their villages

At least 168,000 people were displaced as at April, living in 38 sites, mainly in the eastMost of these fled fighting between the Chadian army and armed opposition groups, inter-ethnic violence and the spillover effects of the Darfur conflict in neighbouring Sudan

Sources: IDMC, Congo Advocacy Coalition, UN agencies


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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