Internal Displacement Update
Issue 14: 23 March - 5 April 2017

Issue 14 map
Feature

Horn of Africa

Affected areas

Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan

Cause of displacement

Disaster (Drought, food insecurity and conflict)

Figures

More than 464,000 new displacements between 1 November 2016 and 24 March 2017

Context

More than 444,000 people were displaced directly or indirectly in relation to drought in Somalia between 1 November 2016 and 24 March 2017. More than 187,000 people were displaced between 1 and 24 March. The largest movements were to Baidoa in Bay region (more than 82,000 people), Mogadishu (more than 79,000) and Gaalkacyo (as many as 24,000) (UNHCR, 24 March 2017; UNHCR, 24 March 2017). More than 4,000 people, mostly women and children from Bay, Gedo and Middle Juba regions, crossed into Ethiopia in early 2017 because of drought (OCHA, 31 March 2017). Somali families told “harrowing stories of abandoning their weak cattle, of being forced to leave their homes to search for food and water”. A mother of ten from Gedo province said: “I lost ten goats. One day they just started falling and dying. I decided to move away, as I feared that my children would start falling and dying too” (Norwegian Refugee Council, 29 March 2017).

More than 20,000 people were displaced by drought in Garissa and Turkana counties in Kenya between 1 January and 31 March. Another 5,000 people fled violence relating to cattle rustling in Baringo county during the same period, and more than 30,000 Kenyans with their cattle migrated to Uganda in search of water and grazing pastures. One hundred people who had received UNHCR support to return to Somalia arrived in Kenya’s Dadaab camp in March (OCHA, 31 March 2017).

In South Sudan, conflict and drought contributed to displacement. “Spreading violence first led people to abandon their homes and villages, but sustained hunger with little hope of harvests to ease their suffering sent them on the long, risky walks to safety far away.” Nyawich Bangot, who fled Unity state, said: “There were so many random killings: men were killed randomly, even children were killed randomly. Our houses with our food stored inside were all destroyed, food we grew with our own hands to keep us going during the hard times” (UNHCR, 10 April 2017).

East Asia and Pacific

Australia

Affected areas

New South Wales and Queensland states

Cause of displacement

Disaster (Tropical cyclone)

Figures

Up to 20,000 new displacements between 27 and 31 March

Context

Up to 20,000 people were ordered to evacuate to higher ground across parts of southern Queensland and neighbouring New South Wales because of the effects of cyclone Debbie, which made landfall on 27 March. Final displacement figures are still pending (NDTV, 31 March 2017). Although the cyclone was downgraded to a tropical low, it brought strong winds, extreme rainfall and flooding. At least 270 properties were severely damaged and left uninhabitable (Floodlist, 31 March 2017). The storm was the most dangerous to hit Queensland since cyclone Yasi in 2011. The disaster zone stretched 1,000 kilometres (Reuters, 6 April 2017).

Latin America and the Caribbean

Argentina

Affected areas

Chubut, La Pampa, Santiago del Estero, Catamarca, Tucumán, Salta and Jujuy provinces

Cause of displacement

Disaster (Floods)

Figures

About 8,000 new displacements between 27 March and 4 April

Context

About 8,000 people were evacuated to safety because of floods after continuous heavy rain in seven provinces between 27 March and 4 April. All 5,000 people from the town of Tucumano de Lamadrid in the north-west of Argentina evacuated. About 2,000 people in Comodoro Rivadaviain in the south evacuated (Telam, 4 April 2017).

Colombia

Affected areas

Chocó, Nariño and Putumayo departments

Cause of displacement

Conflict, Disaster (Mudslide)

Figures

More than 2,200 new disaster displacements between 1 and 4 April; more than 800 new conflict displacements between 14 March and 1 April; 168 people face movement restrictions starting 14 March

Context

More than 2,200 people moved to temporary shelters between 1 and 4 April (UNGRD, 4 April 2017) after the Mocoa, Mulato and Sancoyaco rivers burst their banks, triggering a major landslide with mud and rocks in Mocoa city in Putumayo department. The mudslide left 193 dead and 220 missing, and injured as many as 300 people (ECHO, 2 April 2017).

One hundred and eighty-one people were displaced from the rural area of Lloró in Chocó department towards the center of the municipality. Of those, 38 people from Currupá community were displaced on 14 March and 143 from Currupá, Currupacito and Chiriquí communities were displaced between 18 and 19 March. The trigger was fighting, threats and the presence of guerrilla group Ejercito Nacional Liberador (ELN) and post-demobilization group Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia (AGC)/Clan del Golfo. A further 168 people  from Mindó community faced restrictions to free movement and humanitarian access starting on 14 March due to fighting between unknown armed groups (OCHA, 21 March 2017).

One hundred and thirty-four people from the indigenous community Chagpien Tordó were displaced between 20 and 21 March in the municipality of El Litoral de San Juan in Chocó department. The presence of unidentified armed people forced them to move towards the urban area of Buenaventura in Valle del Cauca. These displacements follow others in the same community in February (OCHA, 22 March 2017).

Sixty-one people fled after an armed group attacked their African-Colombian community Carrá, also in El Litoral on 25 March, killing five people. People fled towards Docordó, the seat of the municipal government, where they were housed with families (OCHA, 27 March 2017). 

One hundred and forty-six people fled their African-Colombian community Cabecera in Buenaventura on 31 March fearful after the attack in Carrá. They also moved towards Docordó, and then towards the urban area of Buenaventura on 1 April (OCHA, 05 April 2017).

At least 330 people were displaced from the rural areas of Mosquera and Francisco Pizarro in Narino department towards Tumaco municipality center before 25 March. The number of IDPs is expected to rise once a census has been carried out and displacement in the municipalities of Francisco Pizarro, El Charco, Mosquera and Magüí Payán has been confirmed (OCHA, 28 March 2017).

Peru

Affected areas

Ancash, Arequipa, Cajamarca, Huancavelica, Ica, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Loreto, Piura and Tumbes departments

Cause of displacement

Disaster (Floods, mudslides)

Figures

About 155,000 new displacements between late November 2016 and 5 April 2017

Context

About 155,000 people were displaced by floods and mudslides after persistent rainfall between November 2016 and April 2017 across many departments. Piura is the worst affected department (OCHA, 5 April 2017; UNDAC, 4 April 2017). Other affected departments areAncash, Arequipa, Cajamarca, Huancavelica, Ica, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Loreto and Tumbes departments (Map Action, 5 April 2017). Although most IDPs are staying with host families, about 22,000 people are in 135 official temporary shelters, mostly in La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima and Piura departments (OCHA, 5 April 2017; UNDAC, 4 April 2017). More than 34,000 houses across the country were destroyed or left inhabitable (Map Action, 5 April 2017; UNDAC, 4 April 2017). Preliminary assessments show 59 per cent of IDPs face food insecurity and nine per cent face severe food insecurity (OCHA, 5 April 2017).

Middle East and North Africa

Iraq

Affected areas

Mosul city

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

As many as 236,000 displacements between 19 February and 3 April

Context

As many as 236,000 people fled western neighbourhoods of Mosul for camps and emergency sites between 19 February and 3 April during an offensive to retake the western part of the city from ISIL. About 400,000 people in western neighbourhoods of Mosul remain

“largely inaccessible to humanitarians, sheltering from the fighting, or waiting for an opportune time to flee. Serious concerns remain for the protection of civilians in west Mosul, where food, water, medicine and fuel are running low. Given the narrow streets and high population density in western Mosul city, people are at great risk of being caught in crossfire, and infrastructure is likely to sustain damage” (OCHA, 4 April 2017).

An average of 11,000 IDPs a day arrived at Hammam Al Alil screening site between 6 and 16 March. This dropped to about 6,600 a day between 17 and 27 March because of a pause in military operations. Fighting in western Mosul resumed on 26 March (UNHCR, 27 March 2017). About 5,000 people a day were leaving western Mosul as of 2 April (OCHA, 2 April 2017). IDPs at Hammam Al Alil said they preferred to stay close to west Mosul to be able to return home as quickly as possible when it was safe (UNHCR, 25 March 2017).

There were as many as 368,000 displacements, and as many as 81,000 returns between 17 October 2016 and 30 March 2017 (IOM, 30 March 2017).

An unspecified number of people continued returned to eastern Mosul city from areas east and north of Mosul, particularly Hasansham, Khazer, Nargizlia and Qaymawa camps (OCHA, 2 April 2017). Eastern Mosul, which was retaken by Iraq security forces (ISF) on 24 January, continued to be attacked by armed groups. A rocket attack on a market on 26 March is one of more than 300 attacks on hospitals, schools, residential neighbourhoods and public areas in east Mosul since it was retaken by ISF on 24 January (UNHCR, 27 March 2017).

Syria

Affected areas

Hama, Homs, Raqqa, Rural Damascus governorates

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

More than 67,000 displacements between February and 28 March

Context

As many as 40,000 people, mostly women and children, were displaced between 21 and 28 March by increased clashes between non-state armed groups and the Syrian army in northern and western Hama governorate. An estimated 30,000 people moved to Hama city, Masyaf in Hama and Wadi Nasra in Homs. An estimated 9,000 people moved to Mashta Elhiu, rural areas of Banyas and Tartous city in Tartous. About 425 people were displaced to Lattakia. Some IDPs are at risk of further displacement as the frontlines continue to shift (OCHA, 28 March 2017).

More than 10,000 people were displaced from contested areas of besieged eastern Ghouta to Tall city in February and March, while 17,000 others were displaced within eastern Ghouta. Many displaced families face further displacement because of growing insecurity inside besieged areas.  The needs of the estimated 25,000 to 30,000 civilians in contested areas continue to increase (OCHA, 26 March 2017).

Three hundred thousand people were besieged in eastern Ghouta in Rural Damascus where the health situation deteriorated and none of the three hospitals functioned. The World Health Organisation said: "Time is running out for the people of east Ghouta. As health needs increase, available resources are being depleted day by day. Our main goal now is to provide access to lifesaving care for thousands of vulnerable men, women and children immediately.” The number of children suffering from trauma injuries is "alarmingly high" in eastern Ghouta. Thirty per cent of patients with war-related injuries were children under 15 (Reuters, 27 March 2017).

South Asia

Afghanistan

Affected areas

Northern, southern, western provinces

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

As many as 2,200 new displacements between 26 March and 1 April; about 5,800 returns from Pakistan between 26 March and 1 April

Context

About 1,900 people fled Dasht-e-Archi district in Kunduz to Taloqan city in Takhar province after clashes between the Afghan national security forces and non-state armed groups between 26 March and 1 April. Conflict-related displacement in the region accounts for approximately 19 per cent of the country’s total.

About 140 people were displaced to Badghis and 30 to Ghor after intensified fighting between government forces and armed groups in western provinces. An additional 120 people were displaced from Helmand, Baghlan and Badghis to Herat (OCHA, 1 April 2017).  

About 5,800 undocumented Afghans returned from Pakistan between 26 March and 1 April. This is a 162 per cent increase from the previous week and brings the total number of such returns in 2017 to 18,000 (IOM, 1 April 2017). This increase is due to the re-opening of the Torkham and Spin Boldak border crossings on 21 March (IOM, 25 March 2017).

About 9,700 people were displaced by clashes between the Afghan national security forces and non-state armed groups in northern and north-eastern provinces between 1 January and 1 April. About 25,000 people were displaced by similar clashes in southern provinces between 1 January and 1 April. This brings to about 50,000 the total number of people displaced by conflict across 22 provinces in Afghanistan in 2017 (OCHA, 1 April 2017).

India

Affected areas

Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh states

Cause of displacement

Communal violence

Figures

More than 600 new displacements on 26 and 27 March; about 40 new displacements on 29 March

Context

About 140 people, all Muslims, were displaced after 30 homes were set on fire in Vadavali village in Patan district in Gujarat on 25 March following a fight between Hindu and Muslim school students. During the violence, 5,000 people attacked Muslim residents (Al Arabiya, 26 March 2017). An additional 500 people, all Muslims, were displaced from the village on 26 March as people from neighbouring villages burnt 80 to 100 houses (The Citizen, 4 April 2017).

Members of seven families (about 40 people), all Muslims, fled Upeda village in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh following communal violence on 29 March (The Hindu, 2 April 2017). Some Muslim youth returning from the mosque were assaulted by four Hindu men. On 2 April, the displaced families returned home (Indian Express, 4 April 2017).

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central African Republic

Affected areas

Haute-Kotto and Ouaka prefectures

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

More than 1,400 new displacements between 20 and 26 March

Context

More than 700 people, many of them women and children, fled violence along the road to Alindao and moved towards the city of Bambari on 23 and 24 March. They were afraid after accounts of murders, rapes and houses burned with children inside. IDPs stayed in Sangaris and Alternatif camps, in the surrounding neighbourhoods or with host families

More than 400 people were displaced from Bria, Haute-Kotto, after an armed group attacked them between 20 and 26 March. They fled to the PK3 camp.

A group of people fled Bakouma, Haute-Kotto, and went into the bush after an attack on 20 March.

Between 250 and 500 people fled Nzako, Haute-Kotto, on 22 March after a similar attack. They fled south, trying to find shelter.

An unknown number of people fled from Agoudou-Manga and went into the bush or to Bambari after a clash on 18 March (OCHA, 26 March 2017).

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Affected areas

Ituri province

Cause of displacement

Communal violence

Figures

More than 12,000 new displacements between 19 and 24 March

Context

More than 12,000 people were displaced following clashes over land ownership in the municipality of Tchulu, fleeing towards the villages of Linga, Ndjago, Mokpa, Dhebu and Akpa in Ituri province between 19 and 24 March. In the clashes, fields were destroyed and around 900 houses burned down. The displaced people and host communities risk food insecurity. About 1,000 of the IDPs are staying on church land in Komanda, 75 kilometers south of Bunia, but face eviction as the landowners have told them to leave before the end of April. Clashes between residents of Tchulu and Lodjo over control of a hill escalated on 19 March. Communal conflict in Ituri between 1998 and 2003 caused the deaths of as many as 60,000 people and displaced 300,000 (OCHA, 29 March 2017).

Nigeria

Affected areas

Borno state

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

As many as 1,000 returns from Cameroon between 21 and 28 March; more than 2,600 new displacements between 22 and 31 March; three IDPs killed on 31 March: several secondary displacements on 31 March; an unknown number of returns from Cameroon between 31 March and 4 April

Context

As many as 1,000 people returned from Cameroon to camps in Bama local government area between 21 and 28 March.

More than 2,000 people were displaced as a result of the arrival of armed forces and subsequent military operations between 22 and 29 March.

More than 600 people fled Gumsuri ward in Damboa on 31 March for several camps in Damboa after an attack in Dolo / Malimeri community in Kaye village (IOM, 4 April 2017). In this attack, Boko Haram killed three people, abducted scores of others and burned down the whole village (Sahara Reporters, 1 April 2017).

Three IDPs were killed and several others displaced again when a fire broke out at Kuya camp in Monguno on 31 March, destroying several makeshift shelters (IOM, 4 April 2017). 

About 120 people arrived at Ngala camp between 31 March and 4 April, the majority of whom were from Fotokol in Cameroon and Rann in Nigeria (IOM, 4 April 2017). 

Sudan

Affected areas

Darfur, South Kordofan

Cause of displacement

Violence

Figures

About 8,000 displacements between 1 January and 23 March; more than 3,000 returns at an unspecified date

Context

About 8,000 people fled their homes in East Darfur state at an unspecified date between 1 January and 23 March because of communal violence between farmers and pastoralists. They took refuge in Dalil Babikir, Dalil Dokhry, Futaha and Fagakh villages in Lait locality, in North Darfur state. This is the only known instance of internal displacement in Darfur since 1 January (OCHA, 26 March 2017).

More than 3,000 people returned at an unspecified date to the government-controlled county of Dalami in South Kordofan state. Numbers of returnees are growing daily. There are new flows of returnees and displaced people. Also, “fighting in neighbouring South Sudan forced many refugees from South Kordofan to flee refugees camps in Unity and Upper Nile regions and to return to Sudan” (Sudan Tribune, 3 April 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 100 (if the total is less than 10,000) or 1,000 (if the figure is 10,000 or larger). For IDMC-validated and peer-reviewed figures, read our Global Report on Internal Displacement.