IDP News Alert - 17 April 2013

Report
from Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
Published on 17 Apr 2013

To see this news alert with link to sources, click here

News alert 17 April, 2013

In this alert:
Sudan: Over 150,000 people forced to flee in Darfur in 2013
Nigeria: 4,500 newly displaced in Nigeria’s volatile Middle Belt region
Nigeria: Fears for neglected IDPs, as rainy season approaches
Tens of thousands displaced by severe floods in East Africa
Latest blog post – Solutions needed for Afghanistan’s displaced as international attention wanes

Sudan: Over 150,000 people forced to flee in Darfur in 2013

A resurgence of violence in Darfur has prompted the internal displacement of at least 150,000 people in the first 3 months of 2013. Fighting is on-going in central Darfur and has spread to South Darfur, despite a cessation of hostilities agreement signed by the conflicting parties on 10 April.

While reports indicate that some 50,000 people from Central Darfur state sought refuge in Chad in the second week of April, information on displacement inside Darfur remains limited as access constraints limit humanitarian assessments . Such a mission is critically needed to gauge scope and scale of the internal displacement, as well as to identify the needs of IDPs. Further, the access of a joint UN and AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) attempting to assess the situation was reportedly blocked by Sudanese authorities.

In East Darfur, fighting between government forces and the Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minawi has displaced 18,000 people to UNAMID’s sites in Muhajiriya and Labado this month. Needs assessments are planned for as soon as security allows.

At the end of 2012, at least 1.4 million people remained in IDP camps in Darfur. Concrete steps must be taken by all actors to implement the provisions of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, if continued violence and new displacement in 2013 is to cease.

For more information, see IDMC's country page on Sudan .

Nigeria: 4,500 newly displaced in Nigeria’s volatile Middle Belt region

Some 4,500 people were displaced and 19 left dead over the Easter weekend following clashes between Muslim Fulani herders and Christian farmers in central Nigeria's Kaduna state. Two IDP camps were set up by local authorities, but the conditions in these camps and the extent of access to basic needs are unknown.

These clashes followed a spate of religious, ethnic and land-related conflicts in neighbouring Plateau state, for which nearly 60 people lost their lives and many were displaced due to the violence and the destruction of houses. Another attack in Plateau state on 9 April caused further displacement after houses were burned down.

The Middle Belt region, comprising states of central Nigeria such as Plateau and Kaduna, is at the crossroads between the country’s mainly Muslim north and mostly Christian south. Violence between nomadic Muslim herders, who are seen as ‘settlers’ and Christian farmers, seen as ‘indigenous,’ regularly flares up in this region. This is a consequence of rivalries and conflicting claims over land and economic resources, causing widespread internal displacement and loss of lives and property.

In 2012, at least 40,000 people were displaced following communal clashes between farmers and herders in central states during the year. Although data is limited, over the past 15 years hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to have been displaced, amid increasing tensions and violence.

For more information, see IDMC's country page on Nigeria .

Nigeria: Fears for neglected IDPs, as rainy season approaches

With the rainy season fast approaching, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) warned that 2013 rain patterns could be similar, if not worse, to those in 2012 when at least 2.1 million people fled from their homes.

Many of those displaced in 2012 remain in dire conditions in 2013. In Delta state, IDPs recently claimed that they had not received much-needed assistance from the state after the 2012 floods and reported feeling abandoned. In Taraba state, victims of the floods reported suspicions that funding destined for assistance was diverted by state officials.

While many IDPs are still staying with host families, others returned home after camp closures. Many returned to find their farmland devastated and homes in ruins, leaving them no other option but to squat in shacks . Other IDPs, for example in Bayelsa state, received assistance but are still suffering from the heavy trauma experienced by the crisis.

According to a November 2012 assessment carried out in 14 of the most affected states, 5.7 million animals were killed and two million hectares of farmland washed away. The destruction of farmland, crops and infrastructure used for agricultural production contributes to the decline of sources of income and dependence on markets and food aid .

For more information, see IDMC's country page on Nigeria .

Tens of thousands displaced by severe floods in East Africa

An estimated 18,000 people have been displaced in Kenya since 19 March due to floods caused by unusually heavy rain. Floods have affected districts in nearly all parts of the country, though three quarters of those affected were inhabitants of the Coast Province and upper Eastern Province.

The Kenyan Red Cross is distributing food and non-food items to affected families, but medical care and additional food and shelter is still needed. In Kisumu County, the Nyanza provincial director of medical services has urged health officials in flood-prone areas to be on high alert, as the number of people suffering from water-borne diseases had increased .

On April 14, Deputy President William Ruto pledged Sh1.6 billion to contain floods and landslides, repair roads and buy food and basic necessities for the affected families. He added that the government would soon establish a disaster management authority , as recommended in the draft national disaster management p olicy developed in 2009.

Neighbouring areas of Somalia have experienced three times the normal levels of rainfall since 1 April, which have resulted in destroyed crops and displaced an unconfirmed number of people. According to a joint assessment mission to Abudwaq, heavy rain destroyed urban properties and IDP settlements . The most affected were IDPs living in dilapidated huts made of old sacks, clothes, cartons and sticks in four settlements located on low-lying ground near a natural water catchment; about 30% of residents of the settlements were displaced.

Floods have also destroyed homes in Burundi and triggered evacuations in Rwanda and Uganda due to average and above-average rainfall.

For more information, see IDMC's page on natural disaster-induced displacement and IDMC’s country pages for East Africa .

Latest blog post

Solutions needed for Afghanistan’s displaced as international attention wanes

On mission to Kandahar, IDMC’s Country Analyst for Afghanistan contemplates the on-going security transition in the country, as internal displacement continues to increase. Consultations took place for the development of a comprehensive national IDP policy, a welcome and timely development in a country where well over half a million people are now internally displaced.

Read the full blog post here.