Spread the love

Faith Nyasuguta 

A recent report reveals that a record 75.9 million people are living in internal displacement due to conflict, with nearly half of them in sub-Saharan Africa. 

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) reported that 34.8 million people in this region were displaced in 2023, a significant increase from the previous year. Sudan experienced the most considerable rise in displacement due to its ongoing civil war.

Among the millions newly displaced is Dr. Aisha Hassan, a Sudanese doctor. She recounted the threats she faced from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and gangs when she went to work at a hospital to tend to those injured in the civil war. 

The RSF has been in conflict with the Sudanese armed forces since April last year, forcing Dr. Hassan to flee her patients and hometown, Omdurman, which is northwest of the capital, Khartoum. She and her family sought refuge first in Karima, North Sudan Al-Shimaliyya, then in Port Sudan, and eventually in Uganda.

/UN News/

The conflict between the Sudanese armed forces and the RSF has displaced 9.1 million people since April 2023, making Sudan the country with the highest number of displaced people globally. 

The IDMC notes this figure is “the most ever recorded in a single country since records began in 2008.” The conflict has severely hampered aid agencies’ efforts to reach those in need, forcing more people to flee in search of food, water, medicine, and safety.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, fighting between the army and rebels has displaced nearly 7 million people. Ethiopia, which experienced a two-year war in Tigray starting in 2020 and subsequent conflicts across various regions, saw 790,000 people displaced last year.

Conflicts in Africa often revolve around territory, community politics, and resource control. At least 10 African countries, primarily in West Africa, are grappling with terrorism-related conflicts. Burkina Faso, the hardest-hit West African nation, experienced a 61 percent increase in displacement, with 700,000 people displaced last year.


Vicente Anzellini, the coordinator and lead author of the IDMC report, highlighted the compounded impact of rising conflicts and weather-related disasters, such as floods, storms, and droughts, on displacement figures. He stressed the importance of government and humanitarian action in addressing these issues. 

Governments need to improve their capabilities to resolve conflicts and cope with natural disasters,” Anzellini said. He emphasized the need for increased efforts in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and disaster risk reduction to mitigate the trend of rising displacement in Africa.

Anzellini noted that addressing and reducing internal displacement in Africa would significantly impact the global trend. However, he observed that this has not been the case in recent years, underscoring the need for more government leadership and investment.

The Swiss-based IDMC report indicates that most displaced individuals remain within their own countries, struggling to survive and rebuild their lives. For Dr. Hassan, staying in Sudan became too dangerous as armed groups began looting her family’s home while she was at the hospital. 

“After two months or so, the Rapid Support team came and resided in our home,” she said. “Now they are living in our home. I don’t know how many of them there are, but they told us they are living there. They took my father’s car, and they are living there.”

The IDMC asserts that no country is immune to disaster displacement, with conflicts in Sudan, the DRC, and the Palestinian territories significantly contributing to the global displacement numbers.


About Author

Faith Nyasuguta

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *