Four years after the fall of the Taleban, an estimated 153,000 people remain displaced in Afghanistan, with the largest concentration in the south of the country near Kandahar. While drought accounts for the displacement of the largest group of internally displaced people (IDPs), mainly Kuchi nomads, thousands of Pashtuns are waiting for the political and economic situation to stabilise in the north and west. Whereas the same assistance is being provided to all IDP groups during displacement, return strategies differ for each group.
An estimated six million of Sudan's more than 30 million citizens have been forced from their homes as a direct or indirect result of fighting between government troops and allied militias on the one hand and various insurgent groups on the other during the last few decades.
At least 29 IDPs were killed and several others seriously injured when the Aro Sharow camp in Sudan's West Darfur region was attacked by several hundred armed militiamen at the end of September. This is the first time since the Darfur conflict erupted in February 2003 that an IDP camp has come under direct attack, and signals an alarming deterioration in the security situation in the region. At the same time a spate of attacks on villages in North Darfur has displaced more than 5,000 people in recent weeks and severely hampered humanitarian access to IDP camps in the region.
International talks to determine whether Kosovo should be given independence or remain a part of Serbia - expected to open before the end of 2005 following a recent recommendation to the UN Security Council by Secretary-General Kofi Annan - will ultimately allow Kosovo IDPs to make an informed decision about whether or not to return. Uncertainty about the future political status of Kosovo, together with continuing security fears, has been a serious obstacle to the return of internally displaced people from the province.
Since April 2002, close to four million internally displaced Angolans have gone home following the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the governing MPLA and UNITA, which marked the end of 27 years of civil war. However, a joint IDP assessment carried out by the United Nations and the Angolan government found that there are still more than 91,000 people who remain displaced as a result of the war. They are located in Cabinda, Huila, Kuando Kubango, Luanda and Moxico provinces. In Cabinda the massive presence of Angolan armed forces is an obstacle to the return of the displaced.