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31 December 2012
In Ethiopia both natural and man-made disasters displace thousands of people every year. The country has experienced decades of violence between ethnic groups over access to resources and land, and between insurgent movements seeking autonomy and government.
Displacement was caused by localised violence in regions including Gambella and Benishangul-Gumuz, and by protracted violent conflict in Oromiya and Somali regions. In the Somali region, fighting between the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and government forces has been ongoing for over three decades. Peace talks between the Government of Ethiopia and the ONLF hosted by Kenya’s government in Nairobi broke down in early October 2012.
Information on the scale of displacement and the current situation of IDPs in Ethiopia remained difficult to obtain due to re-
strictions on access. Most IDPs had reportedly sought shelter with relatives, rather than gathering in camps. Restrictions on access also means that the needs of IDPs are not adequately addressed.
In displacement-affected regions including Somali, southern Oromiya and Gambella, food security, health, nutrition and access to water were all major concerns. The government and its international partners provided humanitarian assistance to communities in these areas, not primarily because they had been displaced, but because they were also affected by natural disasters. According to the UN, around 3.8 million Ethiopians were in need of humanitarian support in 2012, due to recurrent droughts and floods resulting in food insecurity, water shortage and acute stress on households and livelihoods.
Ethiopia was one of the first countries to sign the Kampala Convention, but had not ratified it by the end of 2012.
An estimated 300,000 to 350,000 people remained internally displaced within Ethiopia in late 2010. There were reported displacements related to violence and human rights violations in Gambella and Somali Regions in 2010.
Armed conflicts and localised episodes of violence have continued to cause displacement in various areas. In particular, government forces have continued to fight insurgency groups including the Ogaden National Liberation Front in Somali Region and the Oromo Liberation Front in the south of the country. In Somali region, the government has made peacemaking efforts in recent months, but fighting has continued. (...)
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20 January 2011