Download Africa Overview
31 December 2012
Sporadic violence in Senegal’s southern Casamance region caused displacements during 2012, while limited access to land and livelihoods continued to prevent those displaced in previous years from achieving durable solutions.
Nearly 200 people were reportedly displaced in February by clashes in Bignona district between the Senegalese army and the separatist Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC). It was unknown whether those affected had returned to their place of origin as of the end of the year, but recent displacements tend to have been short-term, with people sheltering close to their homes and returning when the situation calms down. The overall number of IDPs in Casamance is estimated at between 20,000 and 40,000.
The demining of villages and farmland during the year encouraged some people to return, but the sustainability of the process was undermined by a lack of basic services and infrastructure. In a number of districts the presence of mines
Ziguinchor continued to put returning IDPs and host communities at risk. Prospects for ending the 30-year conflict were raised at the end the year by a new round of peace talks under the aegis of Community of Sant’Egidio in Rome.
In recent years, most government assistance for IDPs has formed part of broader reconstruction and development programmes, but such initiatives do not attend to their specific needs. The National Agency for the Revival of Economic and Social Activities in Casamance (ANRAC) provided some financial assistance and livelihood training in Kolda region.
International agencies, notably ICRC, provided assistance in the form of humanitarian aid, food, and the restoration of water and health care infrastructure. Demining responsibilities were transferred from Handicap International to Norwegian People’s Aid and a private South African company. As of the end of 2012, Senegal was still to ratify the Kampala Convention.
New clashes between the Senegalese army and members of the separatist Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC) have caused new displacements since 2009 and hindered durable solutions for long-term internally displaced people (IDPs). Estimates of the overall number of IDPs in Casamance in 2010 range between 10,000 and 40,000, and figures remain unreliable in the absence of a comprehensive survey. The vast majority of IDPs have sought refuge with family, friends and host communities. In line with wider rural-urban migration trends, many have found refuge in Ziguinchor, the largest city of Casamance. It is estimated that between 10,000 and 14,000 IDPs are sheltering in the city.
Large return movements have also been witnessed since 2008. Anecdotal evidence shows IDPs’ wish to return but there has been no survey of their intentions nor data on how many have successfully locally integrated or settled nearby or elsewhere in the country. (...)
Download full Overview (442 kb)
18 June 2010