Colombia

Colombia: OCHA Humanitarian Situation Report 29 May - 4 Jun 2007

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I. HUMANITARIAN SITUATION

1. MASS DISPLACEMENTS ALONG THE PACIFIC COAST, CAUCA AND NARIÑO

Communities remain at risk along the southern Pacific Coast on account of continued confrontations between illegal armed groups and the Army. Mass displacements occurred in Guapi and López de Micay municipalities (department of Cauca) and in Roberto Payán, Nariño (May 29th). The Early Warning System of the Ombudsman's Office reported clashes between FARC and ELN caused the displacement of 25 families to the urban area of Guapi -at first reluctant to register at the IDPs Official Registry (SIPOD) fearing threats from an illegal armed group-. That source also reported 233 people (44 families) arrived to the urban area of López de Micay, caused by alleged threats against communities, as well as by armed confrontations between FARC and the Navy Infantry. 32% of the displaced are women, 26% children under age five, 25% men and 17% children from six to ten years of age. IASC actors in the field met June 1st to coordinate joint missions to the area. Regarding mass displacement in Nariño, the OCHA Field Office in Cali reported (May 27th) the arrival of 177 families to the urban area of the municipality of Roberto Payán, also caused by clashes between FARC and the Army. The local government and Acción Social are assisting IDPs. However, Acción Social reported local resources are insufficient, reason for which IDPs had to be temporarily settled in the town's school. Continued confrontations pose a high risk of displacement in the rural areas of Cumbi, Chimbuza, Piri, Bocas de Telembí and Laguna Parambí.

2. INDIGENOUS MISSING AFTER PROTESTS ON THE QUIBDÓ - PEREIRA HIGHWAY

The joint verifying commission integrated by the Dioceses of Quibdó and several INGOs (Christian Aid, Diakonie, Amnesty International and PTM Mundu Bat) informed 28 people, mostly children, would be missing after police troops from the Anti-Disturbance Squad (ESMAD) broke-up the indigenous protest along the Quibdó - Pereira highway. The mission also reported there would be 15 indigenous injured, property damages and detentions (2 nuns were detained 4 hours at the Police Station). Two of the missing children were found on Wednesday (May 30th) while indigenous communities are currently searching along the San Juan River for others. The verifying commission issued a press release reporting the situation and urging a search for missing persons. Furthermore, it recommended the National Government to open an investigation on ESMAD actions, assist the affected populations and meet the agreements previously conveyed with indigenous communities.

3. FOOD SHORTAGES AND TUBERCULOSIS IN SIERRA NEVADA DE SANTA MARTA

Indigenous communities inhabiting Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in northern Colombia report a considerable spread of tuberculosis (251 cases according to local health authorities) and food shortages attributed to armed blockades issued by rebel and self-defence groups. 3 indigenous have died of this disease since last year (press sources); however, blockades limit access of medical missions and services to communities. Local leaders report continued fighting between non-State armed groups and illegal checkpoints where food supplies are confiscated, pose serious risks to an indigenous population estimated to 42 thousand. Local health authorities are looking into the possibility of setting a safe location to provide sick patients with medical attention, while the situation continues under close monitoring by the Ombudsman Office's Early Warning System and the Church.

MAP - Colombia: Humanitarian Situation Report (May 29 - June 4 2007)

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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