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Author: Natalie Ondiak

New Figures, Analysis Suggest Internal Displacement on the Rise

New Figures, Analysis Suggest Internal Displacement on the Rise
A new report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, or IDMC, indicates that the number of internally displaced persons, or IDPs, remained at a record high in 2008 —26 million people were displaced within their own countries, mostly due to violence. The tally is the same as in 2007, which was a record since the early 1990s, but some concerning trends are emerging. The Philippines had the largest number of new IDPs in 2008. Some 600,000 people fled their homes due to fighting between the government and rebels. Other countries where large numbers of people were newly displaced in 2008 ...
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Politicizing Aid in Darfur: What Can We Learn from History?

A week after the Sudanese government kicked out thirteen international NGOs from the Darfur region of Sudan, it now insists that it can “fill the aid gaps.” While the government of Sudan spews vitriol about how these NGOs were ‘thieves’ and ‘neo-colonialists’, the situation is quickly becoming precarious for over 1 million internally displaced persons, or IDPs. Aid workers have warned that within a few weeks, IDP camps could reach a crisis point. This appears to be part of a government attempt to force IDPs from camps. Forced return of IDPs stands in direct opposition to the concept of voluntary ...
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Refugees In Their Own Words

Refugees In Their Own Words
I recently discovered a new website called Kakuma News Reflector or KANERA. KANERA is an online newsletter written by refugees in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya about encampment and human rights. Kakuma refugee camp was established in 1992 for Sudanese refugees. However, over the years, it has been expanded to house refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Uganda, and Rwanda and has a population of just under 50,000 people. This website was established by concerned journalists who “hold that a free press is one of the most effective means of human rights awareness,” and that this ...
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The Internally Displaced as Pawns of War

A recent report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights describes an incident on August 25, 2008 when Sudanese government security forces killed 33 internally displaced people, or IDPs, at Kalma IDP camp near Nyala, Sudan. In addition to fatalities, at least 108 people were injured. This case is not unique—the government of Sudan continues to target civilian populations as part of the ongoing genocide in Darfur. The Kalma example illustrates the ongoing tensions that exist between Sudan’s government, the United Nations, and displaced persons. Kalma houses 80,000 IDPs and is one of the largest camps in the ...
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No Way Home

No Way Home
A recent report by the United Nations notes that there are 9.1 million “internally displaced” persons in central and eastern Africa. (In the language of international relief work “internally displaced” have been driven from their homes, but not crossed an international border, in which case they would become “refugees.”) There are an estimated 26 million internally displaced persons throughout the world. That means central and eastern Africa account for an appallingly high 35 percent of the world’s internal displacement. There is a general trend toward larger numbers of internally displaced persons as countries become less willing to let people across ...
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