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.
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.
The tsunami of December 2004 forced a million Sri Lankans from their homes, adding a new displacement crisis to that caused by the island's long-running civil war. As of mid-2005, some 800,000 people remained displaced, 450,000 from the natural disaster and 350,000 from the human conflict.
This summary outlines the main findings of the newly updated country profile on internal displacement in Liberia. The profile was prepared by the Global IDP Project of the Norwegian Refugee Council, which monitors and analyses internal displacement in over 50 countries worldwide. The full country profile is available from the Project's Database or upon request by e-mail.
Since the early 1990s, hundreds of thousands of Burundians have fled their homes to escape fighting between the government and Hutu rebel groups seeking to put an end to the political dominance of the Tutsi minority. Many others, predominantly Hutus, were forcibly displaced into camps by the government in the second half of the 1990s. The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) peaked in 1999, with over 800,000 displaced, 12 per cent of the population.
Since the mid-1990s, millions of Congolese have fled their homes to escape fighting between rebel groups and the national government in a complex conflict which has, at times, involved as many as nine neighbouring states. Close to four million people are believed to have died as a result of the conflict which was accompanied by widespread human rights violations. Displacement peaked in 2003, with an estimated 3.4 million people forced from their homes, most of them in eastern DRC. The UN estimated that over 2.3 million people remained displaced as of mid-2005.
This summary outlines the main findings of the newly updated country profile on internal displacement in Nepal. The profile was prepared by the Global IDP Project of the Norwegian Refugee Council, which monitors and analyses internal displacement in over 50 countries worldwide.
Decades of conflict and human rights abuses have caused the displacement of more than a million people within Iraq. The majority of internally displaced people (IDPs) were forcibly displaced under the previous regime, which targeted communities perceived to be in political opposition as well as using forcible displacement as one of its tactics to strengthen control of resource-rich areas.
Displacement has been an endemic feature of the 40-year-long conflict in Colombia, and over three million Colombians have been internally displaced since 1985.
After more than two years of intermittent conflict that effectively split Côte d'Ivoire in half and sparked fears of ethnic cleansing, the country's 500,000 IDPs may finally have a glimmer of hope for a more peaceful future. A shaky peace process, pushed in recent months by South African president Thabo Mbeki, has gained some momentum. Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo has bowed to international pressure to allow his main rival, Alassane Ouattara, to stand against him in elections scheduled for October 2005.
Since UNHCR and partners began the official IDP return programme in November 2004, more than 90,000 Liberian IDPs out of a total of 260,000 living in formal camps have so far been assisted to return to their places of origin. Indeed, considerable progress has been made since the signing of the August 2003 peace agreement between Liberia's three main armed factions, and the subsequent flight into exile of former president Charles Taylor.
Civil conflict hit the Republic of Congo intermittently in the decade after 1992, the year of the first democratic elections. Most of the around 800,000 people who were displaced at the peak of the fighting in 1998 had either returned or settled down in their areas of displacement when hostilities broke out again in March 2002. The renewed fighting sent between 100,000 and 150,000 people, mainly Lari from the hard-hit Pool region surrounding the capital Brazzaville, fleeing from their homes.
The authorities in the Russian Federation continue to deprive the victims of displacement in the northern Caucasus of adequate protection. Two consecutive armed conflicts in Chechnya since 1994 have sent hundreds of thousands of civilians onto the roads fleeing large-scale violence and human rights abuses by security forces and Chechen rebel groups.
The devastating tsunami wave that hit 14 of Sri Lanka's 25 districts on 26 December 2004, killed over 30,000 persons, destroyed 80,000 households and displaced one million people. The total number of people currently displaced by the tsunami is estimated to be around 553,000.
In addition to the displacement caused by the tsunami, more than 350,000 people remain displaced as a result of the conflict between the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka, despite a ceasefire that was signed three years ago.
Eleven years after the signing of a ceasefire, the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh remains unresolved and prospects are still bleak for the return of some 575,000 Azeris who were displaced in the early 1990s from the disputed region and surrounding districts occupied by Armenian forces. The majority of the displaced continue to live in precarious conditions.
For 15 years instability and armed conflict in Liberia, Sierra Leone and, more recently, Côte d'Ivoire have spilled over into Guinea, causing death, physical injury, material destruction and large-scale displacement of civilians.