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Colombia: Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 48 | April 2016

Situation Report
Originally published
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• Indigenous and afro - Colombians communities face displacement and movement restrictions in Chocó

• Humanitarian organizations support vulnerable communities in Chocó and Arauca, by Fundación Plan and LWF

• El Niño ends while la Niña may start soon, UNGRD

• Colombia humanitarian partners show solidarity with Ecuador

The humanitarian crisis in Chocó continues

Chocó department has historically been impacted by the armed conflict and natural disaster. For years, civilians in Chocó have been suffering from a double affectation, increasing risks and vulnerability. Chocó is also impacted by a structural crisis in terms of poverty and human rights; additionally, civilian State´s institutions face a number of difficulties to make presence in areas of difficult access affected by the conflict. The confrontations between the armed forces and non-state armed groups, as well as the presence and action of post-demobilization armed groups, have led to serious humanitarian consequences, including forced displacement and movement restrictions. At the same time, natural disasters, particularly landslides and flooding have increased humanitarian emergencies in Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.

Mass displacement affects more than 5,000 people

According to OCHA’s monitoring, in coordination with members of the Local Coordination Teams (LCT) of Valle del Cauca and Chocó, and the Comité Interinstitucional Humanitario de Buenaventura (CIH), between February and May 2016 more than 5,000 people have been displaced in 13 mass events. Displaced persons mostly come from Wounaan and Embera Indigenous communities from the municipalities in Bajo, Medio and Alto Baudó and along the San Juan River between Litoral de San Juan and Buenaventura.

To the date of this Bulletin, more than 1,000 people continue displaced, and more than 4,000 have returned without adequate security guarantees due to the difficult conditions in the recipient communities. More than 3,000 returnees are currently facing mobility restrictions in their community of origin. Several Indigenous communities manifested that the pressure by non-state armed groups and military operations are the main risks that could lead to new displacements. For example, the Pichima Quebrada community, integrated by 466 Wounaan people displaced for a second time to the municipal seat of Litoral de San Juan on 9 May (See Table1).

In this context, on 12 May the UNHCR and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights-OHCHR issued a joint communiqué expressing concern around the violation of human rights in Chocó, and called for urgent measures to guarantee protection of civilians.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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