Conflict last year forced more than 10 million people to flee their homes to live elsewhere within their own country, bringing the total number of people internally displaced by violence to a record high, monitors said on Friday.
The new figure brought the total number of people living in internal displacement due to violence to 41.3 million, an all-time high, according to a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and the Norwegian Refugee Council.
“It is really a mind-boggling figure,” council chief Jan Egeland told reporters in Geneva, Switzerland.
“It takes extreme violence and fear of disasters to force a family out of their home, their land, their property, their community,” he said.
Including those uprooted from their homes by natural disasters as well as conflict, a total of 28 million people were displaced internally last year, the report said.
A full 10.8 million of new internally displaced people (IDPs) last year were fleeing conflict, with strife in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Syria, as well as intercommunal tensions in Ethiopia, Cameroon and Nigeria responsible for most of the displacements, the study said.
The number of people living as IDPs is far higher than the about 25 million who have fled across borders as refugees.
Surprisingly perhaps, the report found that the highest number of new internal displacements last year was in Ethiopia, with 2.9 million people fleeing their homes inside the East African country, where communal clashes, typically sparked by land disputes, are common.
Strife-torn DRC came in second, with 1.8 million fresh IDPs last year, followed by Syria with 1.6 million new internal displacements.
However, in total, Syria, ravaged by eight years of war, counts 6.1 million IDPs, in addition to about the same number of Syrians still living as refugees.
On top of those forced from their homes by violence, 17.2 million people were internally displaced by natural disasters last year, the report found.
Tropical cyclones and monsoon floods forced nearly 10 million to flee inside the Philippines, China and India, it said.
Center chief Alexandra Bilak told reporters that most of those displacements were linked to government-orchestrated evacuations ahead of natural disasters.
“This of course saves lives, but demonstrates that there are still too many people in those countries who are exposed to extreme events,” she said.
Hundreds of thousands of people were also forced from their homes in California last year by the most destructive wildfires in the state’s history.
About 22,000 people remain displaced by those fires, Bilak said.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Dark matter, mysterious invisible stuff that makes up most of the mass of galaxies, including the Milky Way, is confounding scientists again, with new observations of distant galaxies conflicting with the current understanding of its nature. Research published this week revealed an unexpected discrepancy between observations of dark matter concentrations in three massive clusters of galaxies encompassing trillions of stars and theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be distributed. “Either there is a missing ingredient in the simulations or we have made a fundamental incorrect assumption about the nature of dark matter,” Yale University astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan, a coauthor of