According to the African Union (AU), Africa is "a continent disproportionately affected by internal displacement".
- The African region, with almost 10 million people internally displaced in 22 countries by armed conflict and other forms of violence, hosts more than one third of the 26.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) worldwide at the end of 2011.
- Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia rank globally among the states with the five biggest displacement situations.
- Even in African countries with smaller figures, very large percentages of people may be in displacement in regions primarily affected by violence.
- Such violence has multiple causes, including the long-lasting consequences of colonial heritage, outside intervention, crises of identity in multi-ethnic countries and conflicts over resources.
- Today, political exclusion and inequality between ethnic, regional or religious groups are particularly important drivers of violence.