Yemen: UN warns of humanitarian crisis as clashes continue across country
The UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator has voiced serious concerns about the humanitarian situation in Yemen, and reported that the recent fighting and insecurity has affected displaced people who have still not recovered from earlier conflict. Humanitarian agencies lack the capacity to respond, particularly as rising insecurity has caused some to leave affected areas. At least 14 international organisations have expressed concern about deteriorating respect for human rights in Yemen, and urged the Human Rights Council to hold a special session on Yemen.
Yemen faces continued crisis as protests against the government continue in Sa’ana. In the northern governorate of Sa’ada, Houthi rebels have seized control of the whole governorate following clashes with local tribes, while in neighbouring Jawf, fighting between pro- and anti-government tribes has taken place.
Violent incidents and clashes between tribes, militants and government forces were also witnessed in the southern, central and eastern provinces of Shabwa, Abyan, Jaar, Mareb, and Hadramout. In Shabwa, militants associated with the Southern Movement have taken control of four major districts. In Abyan violent clashes have been witnessed between Yemeni Republican Guards and armed rebels, while Al Qaeda in the Southern Peninsula has allegedly taken control of several districts in Abyan and announced an Islamic emirate. In the southern port city of Aden, insecurity persists with armed forces attempting to stifle growing unrest. The city is divided by a series of road blocks, and curfews are in place. The government’s violent repression of protests in Aden was condemned by human rights NGOs.
See also: IDMC Yemen country page
Back to top
Sudan / Darfur: Tens of thousands fleeing into IDP camps in recent months
Fighting which broke out in December 2010 in some parts of Darfur between the Government of Sudan’s forces and armed opposition groups has continued to displace people in 2011. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), an estimated 66,000 IDPs have arrived in camps in North and South Darfur since January, including at least 53,000 people arriving in and around Zam Zam camp near El Fasher, the regional capital of North Darfur.
Some of these people were newly displaced while others were already displaced and living in other camps. The rapid arrival of so many IDPs at Zam Zam, one of Darfur’s largest camps, has put considerable strain on the basic services and resources available in the camp.
At least 1.9 million people have been displaced by the Darfur conflict, which started in 2003 when government forces and allied militias began fighting rebel groups that wanted greater autonomy for the arid and impoverished region.
Back to top
Sudan / Abyei: Continuing clashes cause increasing displacement
Violence between armed groups belonging to the Misseriya ethnic group and the predominantly Dinka Ngok police and security forces has increased in recent weeks in the contested north-south border region of Abyei. Abyei has witnessed continuing violence since a referendum on the future of the oil-producing region failed to go ahead in January.
According to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), tens of thousands of civilians have either been displaced by fighting or have fled due to fear of further attacks. The authorities in Abyei and humanitarian NGOs have struggled to respond. The state government of Western Bahr el Ghazal has handed over food items to the administration of Abyei, to support its efforts to assist IDPs and particularly vulnerable groups affected by the clashes.
Back to top
Sudan / Southern Sudan: Juba demolitions leave hundreds displaced
Hundreds of residents have been left homeless in the city of Juba following the demolition in March of illegal settlements in the Custom Residential Area. The area, just about 200 metres from the office of the president of the Government of Southern Sudan, sheltered foreign traders and many Southern Sudanese residents.
Demolition operations carried out by police and the military police forced most of the area’s small businesses to shut down. Although the State authorities gave a week’s notice to residents to vacate the area, and in early 2010 the state government reportedly announced that about 10,000 families were at risk due to demolitions planned for the beginning of 2011, many people remained until the operations started and hundreds of families were left homeless as the government did not allocate them alternative land.
See also: IDMC Sudan country page
Back to top
Mexico: National census reveals further evidence of displacement
Mexico’s national census has confirmed reports published by research institutions in 2010 showing that hundreds of thousands of people had fled from drug-cartel violence in northern border states. In March, the National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Informatics (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía or INEGI) released the results of the survey of population and housing which it conducted in 2010.
The census included a new question to identify the number of empty homes, which found that the northern border states had the highest rates of abandoned homes in the country. Tamaulipas and Chihuahua, the states most intensely affected by violence in 2010, respectively had 211,000 and 230,000 abandoned homes. The average occupancy of four people per household provided by INEGI suggests that over 800,000 people have abandoned homes in each of these states. While the census does not provide information on why people abandoned their homes, INEGI has stated that widespread violence would account for the findings.
Beyond the number of empty homes, census population figures also offer a first glimpse into displacement in small localities notably affected by violence. Praxedis G. Guerrero in Chihuahua, for instance, with roughly 8,000 inhabitants recorded in 2000, had only 4,000 in 2010. El Porvenir had 890 inhabitants in 2000 but only 250 in 2010.
See also: IDMC Mexico country page
Back to top
Pakistan: Internally displaced children miss education in tribal areas
Chronic under-financing of public school systems has denied half of Pakistan’s poorest children access to education, according to UNESCO, with internally displaced children worst affected. 600,000 children from Khyber Pakhtunkwa Province missed one school year due to their displacement in 2009 and 2010.
Children who had recently returned home after being displaced from Orakzai Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas have been forced to study in tents after 68 schools were destroyed by militants or air strikes. One-third of the pupils missed their annual secondary-school exam, with the government failing to provide alternative facilities for those without secure access. Schools in some parts of the agency are still closed due to military operations. Girls and female teachers have been prevented from going to school, even in areas with less visible militant presence.
Meanwhile, returnees have continued to face new threats which have led to their secondary displacement. After defying Taliban threats and the kidnapping of 23 elders, some members of the Mehsud tribe who had returned to their areas of origin in South Waziristan were displaced again after Wazir tribesmen in their home area demolished their houses. The Wazir tribesmen had blamed the returning Mehsuds for a militant attack which led the government to prevent the access of food and medicines to the area.
See also: IDMC Pakistan country page