Numerous conflicts inside Sudan over the last few years, there have been huge number of internal displacements. In fact, an estimated 4.9 million people have been displaced and together they make the world’s largest internally displaced population.
About 2.24 million people out of the 4 million who fled south Sudan are expected to have returned following the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) in 2005. But as seen elsewhere, the returnees have faced numerous hindrances upon coming back home. In most cases, the home could never be identified again. Livelihood and basic opportunities have also been scarce. Inter-communal violence has also caused significant new displacement in Southern Sudan, with 187,000 people newly displaced in 2008. Therefore, more than ten per cent of the return initiatives thus far have been unsuccessful.
There are tensions in “three areas” between the north and the south. Fresh conflicts in May 2008 in Abyei led to further displacement of more than 50,000 people and near destruction of the town. At the end of 2008 it was estimated that over 200,000 people remained internally displaced in Blue Nile State, and more than 100,000 in Southern Kordofan. The total number of IDPs in Darfur stands now at a minimum of 2.7 million (January 2009) due to repeated renewal of conflicts, with a fresh input of 317,000 people displaced in 2008. In the first three months of 2009, a further 65,000 people were displaced. There are severe limitations on rural livelihood strategies simultaneously with threats to life and this has resulted in rapid population growths in Darfur’s major towns and IDP camps.
All these have led to more and more people wanting to settle down in Khartoum, which is relatively peaceful. But living conditions for the mobile crowd are far from improving. Khartoum continues to host 1.2 million displaced people from all over Sudan. Social services are very difficult to access and livelihood choices are severely limited.
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Sudan: 4.9 million IDPs across Sudan face ongoing turmoil