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Ethiopia has more internally displaced people than war-torn Syria and Yemen this year

Violence and conflict has displaced more people in Ethiopia than anywhere else in the world this year

Ethiopia_ Displacement _IDPs
Displaced people from Gedeo region of Ethiopia
Photo : NRC

September 12,2019

Figures from Geneva based Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) show that Ethiopia has more internally displaced people due to conflict and violence than war-torn Syria and Yemen based on analysis done for the first six months of the year 2018.

Data released by the center shows that 5.2 million people are internally displaced in the space of six months between January and June 2018. The data was apparently taken from 10 most affected countries.

The number of Internally Displaced People in Ethiopia during the period is 1.4 million while the figure for Syria is for the same period is only 1.2 million.

How did the monitoring center establish the figure? The analysis is based on “situational monitoring” of country or area within a country affected by conflict and violence. It also relies on government data (both national and regional government authorities).

The situation that contributed to the rise in the number of internally displaced people in the case of Ethiopia, according to IDMC, is a new conflict in West Guji and Gedeo which has displaced more than one million people. The source also added that “inter-communal” violence along the Oromo and Somali regions of Ethiopia has raised the number of IDPs during the first six months of 2018.

The number of IDPs for the same period last year only 213,000

From reports by Ethiopian media and government sources, Oromo regional government has been trying to resettle IDP’s in urban centers including in Addis Ababa which some political observers say will change the ethnic composition of the demography which will have implications, perhaps undesired one, in the existing ethnic-based politics in the country.

In July 2018, Ethiopian government decided to deploy members of the defense force to conflict areas including in Somali region of Ethiopia.

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