Internal Displacement Update
Issue 7: 1 - 14 December 2016

Issue 7 map
Feature

Aleppo

Affected areas

Eastern Aleppo city

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 50,000 displacements as of 15 December; up to 30,000 besieged

Context

About 50,000 people have been displaced from eastern Aleppo to government-controlled areas, Kurdish-controlled areas or in accessible parts of eastern Aleppo where agencies registered them and began assisting them. An additional number of up to 30,000 are besieged in an area controlled by the armed opposition but it is difficult to give precise numbers (UNOG, 15 December 2016The Guardian, 15 December 2016).

Planned evacuations from eastern Aleppo stalled on 16 December, leaving people stranded along the route without food or shelter. On 18 December, several buses were attacked and torched as they were being sent to transport sick and injured people from several enclaves in Idlib province, south-west of Aleppo. The attacks apparently halted efforts to evacuate besieged areas (BBC, 18 December 2016). The simultaneous evacuations were part of a deal under which civilians from east Aleppo would have been moved to Idlib at the same time as loyalists were shifted from al-Foua and Kefraya, two villages besieged by rebels, into government -held territory (Telegraph, 19 December 2016). However, there were also reports that ten buses had successfully left the villages on 18 December, and that 500 of the 4,000 villagers had left. In addition, more than 4,500 people, including dozens of orphans, left eastern Aleppo on 18 December in one of the biggest evacuations yet. Bana Alabed, 7, who had tweeted about conditions in the city, was also evacuated (BBC, 19 December 2016ECHO, 19 December 2016).

There were reports of two incidents of human rights violations committed during the evacuation of eastern Aleppo. The first was a convoy being shot at, which injured five people. The second was the five-hour detention of a convoy with 750 people. People were forced to lie “on the ground and take off their clothes as they were humiliated and degraded. Also, the checkpoint looted their money, personal belongings, and papers before shooting some of them which resulted in the killing of three individuals … while two women were abducted” (SNHR, 18 December 2016).

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate end to the violence and unfettered humanitarian access. “We have collectively failed the people of Syria … History will not easily absolve us, but this failure compels us to do even more to offer the people of Aleppo our solidarity at this moment … As front lines have shifted, civilians have fled across dangerous routes, bringing almost no belongings with them. Many families have lost contact with their families inside of eastern Aleppo, after they were displaced or after they burned their SIM cards and devices for fear of facing repercussions on being detained. There have been allegations of young men being rounded up and detained or sent to fight for government forces. Tens of thousands have already been recorded flooding into western Aleppo, but it is likely that many more thousands have been displaced, who are not recorded or registered” (UN, 13 December 2016).

On 19 December, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution expressing alarm at the “continued deterioration of the devastating humanitarian situation in Aleppo and by the fact that urgent humanitarian evacuations and assistance are now needed by a large number of Aleppo inhabitants”, stressing “that these evacuations must be conducted in accordance with international humanitarian law and principles and emphasiz[ing] that the evacuations of civilians must be voluntary and to final destinations of their choice, and protection must be provided to all civilians who choose or who have been forced to be evacuated and those who opt to remain in their homes” (UN, 19 December 2016).

East Asia and Pacific

Myanmar

Affected areas

Rakhine and Shan states

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

27,000 cross-border displacements to Bangladesh between 1 November and 13 December; 14,000 new displacements in Shan state including some cross-border displacements to China and more than 1,200 cross-border returns

Context

About 27,000 ethnic Rohingya people who were internally displaced in Myanmar fled across the border from Rakhine state into Bangladesh between 1 November and 13 December. The displacements come after armed attacks on Myanmar border guard police posts on 9 October and subsequent security operations. Access restrictions are hampering needs assessments and the delivery of assistance (OCHA, 13 December 2016).

About 14,000 people were displaced in Shan state by clashes between three armed groups and government forces that started on 20 November. Some of the displaced people crossed the border to China. Between 10 and 13 December, more than 1,200 people returned from China through the Mong Ko border gate (Xinhua, 13 December 2016).

Indonesia

Affected areas

Aceh province

Cause of displacement

Disaster (Earthquake)

Figures

More than 85,000 new displacements

Context

More than 85,000 people were displaced in Aceh province by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck on 7 December and up to 90 aftershocks in the subsequent week (BNPB, 12 December 2016Associated Press, 13 December 2016).

Europe and Central Asia

Turkey

Affected areas

South eastern region

Cause of displacement

Conflict / Development

Figures

About 500,000 new displacements since December 2015

Context

An estimated 500,000 people have been displaced in south-eastern Turkey since 11 December 2015. This estimate is based on the size of the populations in areas placed under long-term curfews, reported proportions of residents forced to flee and the level of destruction to homes and infrastructure in these areas. The displacement followed security operations over the past year by the Turkish authorities in response to the Kurdish bid for self-governance and plans to redevelop neighbourhoods (Amnesty, 6 December 2016).  Nearly all 24,000 residents of six neighbourhoods in Sur city are still displaced after one year and may not be able to return if their houses have been demolished or their land expropriated for urban development (Amnesty, 6 December 2016).

Latin America and the Caribbean

Bolivia

Affected areas

Cochabamba, Santa Cruz and La Paz departments

Cause of displacement

Disaster (Flood)

Figures

More than 5,300 new displacements in late November and early December

Context

More than 5,300 people were evacuated in central and northern regions after heavy rain caused floods in Cochabamba, Santa Cruz and La Paz departments in late November and early December (ECHO, 5 December 2016Floodlist, 7 December 2016).

Middle East and North Africa

Iraq

Affected areas

Mosul

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 95,000 new displacements between 17 October and 14 December

Context

About 95,000 people were displaced between 17 October and 14 December because of fighting between the Iraqi army and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) for control of Mosul city and the surrounding region (IOM automated dashboard, 14 December 2016)Between 6 and 12 December, more than 9,800 people displaced by the Mosul military operations arrived at an emergency site at Al-Qayara airstrip in Nineveh governorate (IOM, 13 December 2016).

The people displaced since the start of the Mosul offensive on 17 October originated from the districts of Mosul (84 per cent), Hatra (7 per cent), Tilkaif (4 per cent), Al-Hamdaniya (3 per cent), Telefar (1 per cent) and Makhmur (less than 1 per cent). These displacements are in addition to the more than 3 million Iraqis displaced across the country since January 2014 (IOM, 13 December 2016).

Yemen

Affected areas

22 governorates

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

Up to 2.2 million people displaced as of 13 December, 90 per cent for more than 10 months

Context

Almost 2.2 million people remain displaced in all 22 governorates across Yemen, more than 90 per cent for more than 10 months. “Many of the Yemenis who have been displaced by the conflict are living in public buildings or makeshift camps, many without access to basic facilities such as toilets and washrooms” (Norwegian Refugee Council, 13 December 2016).

Norwegian Refugee Council Secretary General Jan Egeland said, “Unless the conflict is ended and the deep economic crisis reversed, the new year will see an entire nation slide further into a black hole of despair. The figures for 2016 are shocking, and there is a risk that further deterioration of the situation in 2017 will result in famine across Yemen. We must put an end to this man-made disaster that shames us all.” Egeland called for restrictions on aid to be lifted (Norwegian Refugee Council, 13 December 2016).

An estimated 52 per cent of internally displaced people are female, of whom 30 per cent are women and 22 per cent girls, with many of the women the main providers in their households. They face an increased risk of sexual and gender-based violence including child marriage (OCHA, 14 December 2016).

“Food is the major need for Yemen’s internally displaced followed only by water, sanitation and shelter, evidencing mounting challenges to basic survival” (UNHCR, 14 December 2016).

South Asia

Afghanistan

Affected areas

Herat, Kandahar, Nangarhar and Nimroz provinces

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

More than 12,000 returns from Pakistan and Iran between 4 and 10 December

Context

More than 2,500 undocumented Afghans returned from Pakistan between 4 and 19 December through Kandahar and Nangarhar provinces. The total number of such returnees from Pakistan between 1 January and 10 December is now 420,000.

About 9,600 returned from Iran through Herat and Nimroz provinces during the same period, bringing the total from Iran in 2016 to 242,000 (IOM, 10 December 2016).

Sub-Saharan Africa

South Sudan

Affected areas

Unity and Greater Equatoria states

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

At least 12,000 new displacements in mid to late November; more than 465,000 cross-border displacements between January and 10 December; 1.87 million total displacements

Context

At least 12,000 people were displaced in mid to late November by conflict in Leer, Mayendit and Koch counties to a civilian protection site in Bentiu in Unity state, bringing the total number of displaced people at the site to 120,000, the highest number since January 2016. Congestion and lack of shelter are challenges. Most new arrivals are hosted by relatives in existing shelters; however, increasingly people are starting to arrive with no existing social networks and seek shelter in communal facilities (CCCM Cluster, 10 December 2016). In Unity state, violence and food insecurity have displaced 534,000 people (OCHA, 6 December 2016).

Nearly five months after fighting erupted in Juba, violence in the Greater Equatoria region continues to displace people within the region and to neighbouring countries, with an average of 2,500 South Sudanese arriving in Uganda each day in November. More than 405,000 South Sudanese have fled to Uganda since the beginning of 2016. An unknown number of people returned to South Sudan from Uganda. More than 1,800 South Sudanese reached Uganda through the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). DRC is hosting more than 60,000 South Sudanese, most of them new arrivals, and there have been reports of movement of people from Eastern Equatoria towards Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya via Kapoeta, Narus and Nadapal.

The causes of displacement are extreme violence including ethnically motivated killings, rape and sexual abuse, forced recruitment of boys and men, attacks on property and livestock, hunger, lack of access to basic services and the cost of living.

There are now about 1.87 million internally displaced people in South Sudan (OCHA, 6 December 2016).

Displacement, economic decline and conflict are worsening people’s ability to access HIV healthcare and treatment for sexual violence, and increasing the likelihood of sex work, transactional sex and sexual violence, particularly at armed checkpoints or while gathering firewood (OCHA, 6 December 2016).

CAR

Affected areas

Ouaka and Haute Kotto prefectures

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

At least 4,600 new displacements between 21 November and 5 December

Context

At least 4,600 people were displaced from Bakala and Ndassima to Bambari between 21 November and 5 December as a result of violence in and around Bria town. Some people returned home and more people newly displaced arrived at Bambari.

Some people in the Bria neighourhoods of Gobolo and de Mandé One and Two, and at PKIDP camp (hosting 13,000 IDPs) reported being unable to leave for fear of being attacked (OCHA, 12 December 2016).

Humanitarian access remains difficult. UN Humanitarian Coordinator Fabrizio Hochschild condemned attacks on civilians and called for the respect of international humanitarian law. Aid groups are striving to deliver assistance despite the recurrent violence and prevalent insecurity (OCHA, 13 December 2016).

Lake Chad Basin

Affected areas

Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

2.4 million internally displaced people as of 31 October 2016

Context

About 2.4 million internally displaced people were estimated to be in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria in October, with the majority in Nigeria. An additional 190,000 people displaced across borders to escape violence in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria, and community clashes, mainly over competition for resources and land, made worse by soil and general environmental degradation, desertification and disaster, particularly floods. Some cross-border displacement relates to efforts to establish family, religious and ethnic links in the sub-region (Lake Chad Basin, December 2016).

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.