31 December 2013 |

Senegal: Internal displacement in brief

As of December 2013

 

Sporadic clashes between the Senegalese army and the separatist Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC) reduced in number and intensity during 2013. No comprehensive data is available, but figures from 2010, the most recent available, placed the number of IDPs at 24,000. No new displacements were reported.

Displacement has tended to follow a pendular pattern, with people sheltering near their homes and returning when clashes subside on a daily, weekly or seasonal basis. Limited access to land, basic services and livelihoods prevent IDPs and returnees from achieving durable solutions.

Demining activities increased in 2013, but landmines continued to put returnees and wider communities at risk of death and injury. Poor economic and education prospects were also said to have disempowered many young men, leaving them susceptible to recruitment into gangs.

The Community of Sant’Egidio, a Catholic lay organisation, has been mediating between the government and MFDC since 2012. Renewed talks in November 2013 led to the drafting of a common agenda for further negotiations.

The international response to displacement focused on development and conflict resolution initiatives, sometimes at the expense of IDPs’ more urgent humanitarian needs. ICRC provided aid and restored some water and health care infrastructure, and the government provided financial help and livelihood training in Kolda region.

As of the end of 2013, Senegal had signed but was still to ratify the Kampala Convention.