The latest Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID) published on Friday reveals that there were persistent high levels of internal displacement associated with conflict and violence in the year 2018, with the highest number recorded in sub-Saharan Africa. At least 41.3 million people were estimated to be displaced as a result of conflict and violence, with 30.9 million of this number located in only ten countries including Ethiopia, DRC, and Nigeria.

More findings in the report, which is jointly published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), indicate that 28 million total new internal displacements were recorded worldwide, of which 10.8 million were associated with conflict and violence. In the figures, the sub-Saharan African region had the highest numbers, accounting for 7.4 million conflict-related displacements globally.

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa with most new displacements associated with conflict and violence in 2018 include Ethiopia; 2.9 million, Nigeria 541,000 Cameroon 437,000. These countries topped the global list of 10-worst countries with the highest internal displacement as a result of ongoing and new conflict and violence, the report states. In addition to conflicts, floods also affected 80 percent of people in Nigeria, leading to a further 600,000 displacements in the country.

In Ethiopia, the high record is attributed to inter-communal fighting over resources and ethnic tensions. Similarly, unresolved conflict in the separatists’ Anglophone regions, coupled with the impact of Boko Haram was responsible for the high number of new displacements in Cameroon. In Nigeria, new waves of violence in the Middle Belt region and the ongoing crisis in the north-eastern triggered high displacements. This report has drawn global attention to the need for drastic and sustained action towards internal displacement, which is a global threat.

“The findings of this report are a wake-up call to world leaders. Millions of people forced to flee their homes last year are being failed by ineffective national governance and insufficient international diplomacy. Because they haven’t crossed a border, they receive pitiful global attention,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council. “All displaced people have a right to protection and the international community has a duty to ensure it.”

Despite efforts by several countries to end conflict-led displacement, the numbers keep increasing. In early 2019, there were reports of violence across regions in Nigeria triggered by political instability and inter-regional differences. Although, the government has continually taken steps that address the risks of further conflicts. The primary responsibility of ending internal displacement lies with the government, this includes protecting displaced persons as well as reducing the risk of displacement by adopting sustainable policies.

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