Internal Displacement Update
Issue 13: 9 - 22 March

Issue 13 map
Feature

Iraq

Affected areas

Mosul

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 172,000 new displacements between 19 February and 23 March

Context

About 172,000 people fled western neighbourhoods of Mosul for camps and emergency sites between 19 February and 23 March as military operations to retake the western part of Mosul from ISIL moved into more heavily populated areas of the old city. This brings to almost 274,000 the total number of people displaced from eastern and western Mosul as of 23 March. More than 350,000 people were displaced between 17 October and 23 March, of whom 76,000 returned home to eastern Mosul and surrounding areas.

Displaced people report fear of being caught in the crossfire during the journey to safety.

Across Iraq, returnees and people who remain in their homes face severe shortages of necessities, life-threatening risks from explosive hazards and restrictions to freedom of movement (OCHA, 23 March 2017).

East Asia and Pacific

Myanmar

Affected areas

Rakhine and Shan states

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 10,000 new and repeated displacements between 6 and 13 March; about 120,000 people displaced since 2012

Context

About 10,000 sugar cane workers fled the Kokang self-administered zone in northern Shan state after fighting erupted on 6 March in Laukkai town between Myanmar armed forces and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army. They are thought to be returning to their areas of origin in other parts of Myanmar. Laukkai was also hosting a camp with 50 people displaced during 2015 conflict. Most residents were evacuated (ECHO, 16 March 2017; OCHA, 20 March 2017).

About 120,000 mostly Rohingya people displaced since 2012 should be allowed to return home from rundown temporary camps in western Rakhine state, said a panel led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. "It’s really about time they close the camps and allow the people in the camps, particularly those who have gone through the (citizenship) verification process, access to freedom of movement and all rights of citizenship” (Reuters, 16 March 2017).

The UN Human Rights Council agreed to “dispatch urgently an independent international fact-finding mission … to establish the facts and circumstances of the alleged recent human rights violations by military and security forces, and abuses, in Myanmar, in particular in Rakhine State. It called upon the government of Myanmar to continue efforts to eliminate statelessness and the systematic and institutionalized discrimination against members of ethnic and religious minorities, including the root causes of discrimination, in particular relating to the Rohingya minority” (OHCHR, 24 March 2017).

Latin America and the Caribbean

Colombia

Affected areas

Pacific Region (Cauca, Chocó, Nariño and Valle del Cauca departments)

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 3,500 new displacements between 1 January and 10 March

Context

Nine hundred and twenty-one families (about 3,500 people) were displaced “in mass displacement” events (groups of more than 50 people or more than 10 families) between 1 January and 10 March by fighting among irregular armed groups for control of territory in the Pacific Coast region. About 63 per cent of mass displacements in the Pacific region were caused by armed fighting. Of the mass displacements so far in 2017, 47 per cent of the displaced people were from African-Colombian communities and 25 per cent from indigenous communities. The violence is endangering the survival of these communities, which are being “further marginalized, threatened and displaced. Mobility and access to basic food are being restricted as a consequence of land mines and control of non-state armed groups. Children and women are at risk of forced recruitment and sexual gender-based violence”. Chocó, Cauca, Nariño and Valle del Cauca departments have had a 115 per cent increase in new displacements compared to last year (Protection Cluster, 17 March 2017).

Peru

Affected areas

Country-wide

Cause of displacement

Disaster (Flood)

Figures

As many as 92,000 displacements between late November and mid-March

Context

As many as 92,000 people were displaced when more than 25,000 homes collapsed or were left uninhabitable between late November 2016 and mid-March after persistent rainfall and flooding. In early 2017, the most damage was recorded in Ancash, Cajamarca, Huancavelica, Ica, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Lima, Loreto, Piura and Tumbes provinces, which declared states of emergency (PAHO, 22 March 2017). Since the end of January, a coastal El Niño pattern with an abrupt rise in sea surface temperature has brought heavy rains, storms, floods and strong winds (UNICEF, 21 March 2017).

Middle East and North Africa

Syria

Affected areas

Aleppo and Raqqa governorates

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

More than 55,000 new displacements from Manbij between 27 February and 16 March 2017; between 35,000 and 42,000 new displacements from Raqqa between November 2016 and early February 2017; more than 141,000 returns to Aleppo between December 2016 and 13 March 2017

Context

More than 55,000 people were displaced from Manbij in Aleppo governorate in two major waves of displacement. More than 35,000 were displaced northwards because of fighting between government forces and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and clashes between ISIL and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the southwestern countryside between 27 February and 16 March. About 20,000 people were displaced from Maskana, Dayr Hafir and Khafsa to villages in the south-western countryside of Manbij and to Manbij city between 1 and 16 March. An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 IDPs do not have adequate shelter. Most are older people, women and children, as reports indicate most young men have been recruited into the SDF or government forces, or fled to avoid forced recruitment (OCHA, 16 March 2017).

About 17,000 people were displaced from Raqqa city to areas to the north and south of the city between November and early December 2017. Between 18,000 and 25,000 people were displaced from areas to the north and west of Raqqa between December 2016 and early February 2017, with a large proportion returning to their communities of origin after a short time. The displacements were caused by the first and second phases of SDF’s operation Euphrates Wrath, aimed at cutting communications between Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor and advancing towards Raqqa. The third phase began on 4 February (OCHA, 6 March 2017).

More than 141,000 people returned to newly accessible neighbourhoods of Aleppo between December 2016 and 13 March 2017 as the security situation stabilised. However, civilians in Aleppo risk shelling, landmines and explosive remnants of war. “Aleppo city has massive shelter needs throughout most of its neighbourhoods for both IDPs and returnees. In the western part of Aleppo city, collective shelters are overcrowded, the host community is stretched beyond its limit, and IDPs are struggling to find suitable shelters. Most infrastructure in the newly accessible neighbourhoods is heavily damaged” (OCHA, 13 March 2017).

South Asia

Afghanistan

Affected areas

Badghis, Balkh, Faryab, Jawzjan, Kunar, Kunduz, Nangarhar

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 38,000 new displacements between 1 January and 17 March; about 2,700 new displacements verified between 12 and 18 March; 23 returns from Pakistan between 12 and 18 March

Context

About 38,000 conflict-related displacements across 21 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces were verified between 1 January and 17 March. Six hundred and fifty-one displacements in Balkh, 434 in Faryab and 245 in Jawzjan were verified between 12 and 18 March. It is not clear when people were displaced. More than 600 people were made homeless after 85 houses were burned during a tribal conflict in Badghis province between 12 and 18 March. About 700 people were displaced by cross-border shelling in Kunar and Nangarhar between 12 and 18 March. (OCHA, 20 March 2017).

About 23 undocumented Afghans returned from Pakistan between 12 and 18 March. This brings the total number of such returns to 9,900 in 2017. The returns have slowed after Pakistan closed the Torkham and Spin Boldak border crossings on 17 February, one day after an attack at Lal Shahbaz Qalander Sufi shrine in Sehwan in Pakistan that killed 88 people. Pakistan says Daesh (ISIL), which claimed responsibility for the attack, has sanctuaries in Afghanistan. The borders were temporarily opened from 7 to 8 March but closed again (IOM, 18 March 2017).

About 400,000 children, a third of all Afghan children, risk missing out on school because of conflict, poverty and forced returns, exposing them to child labour, recruitment by armed groups, trafficking, early marriage and other forms of exploitation. More than half of all returnee children are out of school. Returnee Inzar Gul is living in a camp for IDPs and cannot afford to send four children to school. "We've lived in Pakistan for years, we had our business there, our children were going to school, but now that we have returned back to Afghanistan, we have nothing left. I have nothing else to think about than to just provide food and shelter to my family… Education cannot be a priority when you are starving, when you don't have basic necessities of life" (Al Jazeera, 23 March 2017).

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central African Republic

Affected areas

Ouaka and Ouham Pende prefectures

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

As many as 26,000 new and repeated displacements in February; more than 100,000 new displacements between September 2016 and March 2017; as many as 14,000 returns in February

Context

About 19,000 people were registered as displaced in Ouham Pende prefecture after violence between two armed groups on 2 February in the northern town of Bocaranga. This number is made up of more than 15,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) from Koui who were staying in Bocaranga, and about 4,000 Bocaranga residents. They moved to surrounding areas and towns such as Bouar, Bozoum and Paoua. Most stayed with host families (CMP, 22 March 2017).

As many as 6,600 people were registered as displaced in Bambari in Ouaka prefecture. This includes the entire population of Liwa village, who fled to Sangaris camp in Bambari in February because of violence committed by the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC). It also includes an unspecified number of people displaced from Bakala, Bandija, Ippy, Ndachima, Ngou, Madomalé and Yaketché towards Bambari (CMP, 22 March 2017).

As many as 14,000 IDPs returned home in February (CMP, 15 March 2017). About 401,000 people remained displaced as of 28 February. Despite the returns, this is only a slight decrease from the total of 402,000 as of January because of new displacements (CMP, 22 March 2017).

Armed violence has increased since October 2016. Clashes between two factions of militant group Séléka in the prefectures of Ouaka and Haute-Kotto have increased attacks on civilians and led to the displacement of tens of thousands. Some armed groups have taken over schools, preventing children from being educated (Human Rights Watch, 23 March 2017).

“With the upsurge in violence and the spread of hot spots since September 2016 up to the first quarter of 2017, more than 100,000 newly displaced people were registered … This implies that one in every five Central Africans is either displaced internally or is a refugee in neighbouring countries” (OCHA, 16 March 2017).

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Affected areas

Haut-Katanga and Maniema provinces

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 10,000 new displacements between 7 and 14 March; about 1,600 new displacements between 1 and 8 March

Context

About 2,000 households (about 10,000 people) were displaced in Mitwaba territory in Haut-Katanga province, between 7 and 14 March, following new armed clashes between newly created armed groups, following the surrender of the former armed group leader, Gédéon. In addition, villages were looted, houses burnt and ten people kidnapped.

Haut-Katanga also hosts IDPs arriving from neighbouring Tanganyika province, where renewed conflict between Luba, a Bantu group, and Twa, a Pigmy group, caused 34,000 displacements between December 2016 and January 2017. These IDPs place a burden on the precarious capacities of host communities. In some villages in Mitwaba, there are twice as many IDPs as hosts (ECHO, 21 March 2016).

About 310 households (about 1,600 people) arrived in Kalonda Kibuyu in eastern Maniema province between 1 and 8 March from neighbouring Tanganyika province where they fled intercommunity clashes that broke out in February. They joined about 640 households (about 3,300 people) who also fled incursions by armed men in Maniema (OCHA Humanitarian Snapshot, 13 March 2017).

Madagascar

Affected areas

Most regions, with Antalaha and Maroantsetra districts worst affected

Cause of displacement

Disaster (Cyclone)

Figures

247,000 new displacements between 7 and 15 March

Context

More than 247,000 displacements were recorded between 7 and 15 March due to tropical cyclone Enawo, which made landfall on 7 March in north-eastern Madagascar and arced across central and south-eastern parts of the country before leaving on 10 March. The cyclone brought floods and destroyed critical infrastructure. About 79,000 remained displaced on 15 March, and about 6,300 on 17 March as waters receded and people returned home (IOM, 17 March 2017).

Many people are returning to severely damaged or destroyed houses and are likely to be living in precarious conditions. In one report, about 41,000 households (178,000 people) had their houses destroyed as of 15 March (OCHA, 17 March 2017). In another, 20,000 families (88,000 people) who lost their homes needed emergency shelter as of 23 March (OCHA, 23 March 2017).

Mali

Affected areas

Mopti and Segou regions

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 11,000 new displacements between January and February

Context

About 10,000 people were displaced from Macina area in Segou region between 11 and 21 February (CMP, 9 March 2017). This was because of inter-communal violence between nomadic cattle breeders and farmers following the assassination of a shopkeeper (UNHCR, 28 February 2017; MaliActu, 14 March 2017). About 1,300 people were displaced in Mopti region between January and February 2017 as a result of inter-communal violence (CMP, 9 March, 2017). About 46,000 people were internally displaced in Mali as of February 2017 (CMP, 9 March, 2017).

Nigeria

Affected areas

Adamawa and Borno states

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 1,050 returns from Niger on 9 March; about 740 returns from Cameroon on 10 and 12 March

Context

About 1,050 people returned from Niger to Borno on 9 March and 740 people returned from Cameroon to Borno on 10 and 12 March. They returned to camps or host communities and are considered to be displaced within Nigeria (IOM DTM ETT, 15 March 2017).

Somalia

Affected areas

Most regions

Cause of displacement

Multi-cause (Drought, conflict)

Figures

About 438,000 new and repeated displacements between November 2016 and 22 March 2017

Context

About 438,000 new and repeated displacements took place between November 2016 and 22 March 2017 (Norwegian Refugee Council, 29 March 2017; unpublished email, Norwegian Refugee Council, 29 March, on file with IDMC). People fled the individual as well as the combined impacts of drought, rising food prices, dry weather forecasts and ongoing insecurity (OCHA, 22 March 2017).

Displaced people left rural parts of Bay, Mudug and Lower Shabelle to move to urban areas (HIU, 21 March 2017). New arrivals to urban areas included unaccompanied children, and sick and older people. Some walked for up to a week to reach Mogadishu because they could not afford to pay for transport (OCHA, 22 March 2017).

Thousands of people are suffering from acute watery diarrhoea and cholera. Children are dropping out of school and are at risk of family separation and violence, especially when they are on the move. Some people are crossing into Ethiopia and Kenya (UNICEF, 20 March 2017).

“Somalia is in the grip of an intense drought, induced by consecutive seasons of poor rainfall. The country is on the brink of a famine, just six years after another famine led to the loss of a quarter of a million lives. In the worst-affected areas, inadequate rainfall and lack of water have wiped out crops and killed livestock, leaving half the population (6.2 million people) in need of humanitarian assistance. Nearly three million of these people cannot meet their daily food requirements” (OCHA, 22 March 2017).

Notes The terminology, names and designations used in this update and the material in links do not imply any opinion on the part of IDMC.
Displacement figures reported here are indicative only and have been rounded to the nearest 10 (if the figure is less than 999), 100 (if the figure is less than 10,000) or 1,000 (if the figure is 10,000 or larger).
The IDU gives priority to displacement flows that occurred or were reported in stated period. However, due to reliance on third party sources, certain entries may include information that refers to an earlier reporting period. For the purposes of this update, refugee and IDP returns do not imply the achievement of a durable solution. For IDMC-validated and peer-reviewed figures, read our Global Report on Internal Displacement.