IDP News Alert, 23 January 2013

from Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
Published on 23 Jan 2013

To see this news alert with links and sources, click here

Sudan: Tribal clashes in Darfur force 70,000 to flee this month alone

Tribal clashes in North Darfur, Sudan have forced an estimated 70,000 people from their homes since the beginning of this month. Reports indicate that on 5 January, violence erupted between the Abbala and Benni Hussein tribes over the control of gold mines in the Jebel Amer area, including the looting and burning of villages perpetrated by both sides.

People sought refuge in schools, local public buildings, or with host families across several towns in the area. After the fighting prevented the completion of an early assessment mission, a two-day assessment mission by the joint African Union and United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID) in mid-January found the newly displaced people to be in dire need of access to water, food, healthcare, and basic non-food items. IDPs also urgently need adequate shelter and blankets to brave the winter cold.

Even with a number of IDPs within Darfur returning to their homes in 2012, renewed fighting in the region – militia attacks, aerial bombing and tribal clashes – has forced at least90,000 people to flee over the last year. At the end of 2012, at least 1.4 million IDPs were still living in camps in the region.

For more information, see IDMC’s country page on Sudan

Central African Republic: Several thousand uprooted by rebel insurgence

Since early December 2012, several thousand people were forced to flee armed violence in the north, centre, and east of Central African Republic (CAR). Reports indicate many of the newly displaced are hiding in the bush, without adequate shelter or access to drinking water, exposing them to a high risk of diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea.

The crisis began when a newly created coalition of rebel factions took control over wide parts of CAR and marched on the capital. The newly displaced joined over 52,000 people in the country previously internally displaced by ethnic tensions, by activities of criminal groups, by the presence of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the south, and by an internal armed conflict that ended in 2008. Recent fighting left many of these vulnerable people beyond the reach of humanitarian aid.

After a month of hostilities, the government and the rebel coalition ‘’Séléka’’ signed a peace agreement on 11 January in Libreville, Gabon. The peace agreement provides that President François Bozizé will remain in power, but a national unity government with a Prime Minister chosen by the opposition will be put in place. The peace process brings new hope for an end to the recent conflict and for the provision of humanitarian assistance, but also for a long-term political settlement and durable solutions for IDPs.

For more information, see IDMC’s country page on Central African Republic something.