Fresh fighting in Pakistan's North Waziristan displaces more than 75,000 into Afghanistan

News Stories, 2 July 2014

© UNHCR
An aid distribution for some of the tens of thousands who have fled to eastern Afghanistan.

MATUN, Afghanistan, July 2 (UNHCR) A military offensive in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region has forced more than 75,000 people to flee their homes over the past two weeks, seeking shelter across the border in Afghanistan's Khost and Paktika provinces. Many left suddenly, with very few possessions.

"We could only manage to get ourselves out of Miranshah," one man told UNHCR staff, referring to the capital of the mountainous North Waziristan region. "We left all our belongings. The Pakistani government was bombing our villages," he claimed.

UNHCR, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization and other partners are working to coordinate relief efforts and deliver assistance, providing tents and other basic relief items to the most vulnerable. However, sanitation, clean drinking water and medical care are in short supply, and although local communities have generously welcomed the displaced, already scarce resources are now reaching capacity.

Humanitarian assistance is urgently needed to support the host communities in sustaining the level of assistance they have been providing to displaced families. "I would also like to call upon the Afghan government and international community to assist these displaced families," said Wali, a local man who has been hosting four families from MIranshah in his home in Khost province's Matun district.

A former refugee in Pakistan, Wali said: "We were assisted by Waziristanis during the 1980s, when we fled Khost [during the Soviet occupation]. They welcomed us and extended their generous support. It is now our moral duty and obligation to assist and help these needy families."

One new arrival, Hassan, said he was grateful for Wali's generosity to his family, one among some 12,100 (75,000 people) to have so far crossed into the eastern Afghanistan provinces of Khost and Paktika. But Hassan noted that "although we were lucky to get the shelter here, there are still hundreds of families who are living in the open without any shelter."

In Pakistan, the government estimates that the latest fighting has left some 470,000 people internally displaced. Many have sought safety in the Khyber-Pakhtunkwa province.

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Internally Displaced People

The internally displaced seek safety in other parts of their country, where they need help.

Displaced by Fresh Fighting in North Kivu

Waves of fighting in eastern Democratic of the Republic since late April have displaced tens of thousands of people. Many have become internally displaced within the province, while others have fled to south-west Uganda's Kisoro district or to Rwanda via the Goma-Gisenyi crossing.

The stop-start clashes between government forces and renegade soldiers loyal to former rebel commander Bosco Ntaganda began in the province's Masisi and Walikale territories, but subsequently shifted to Rutshuru territory, which borders Uganda.

Between May 10-20, one of UNHCR's local NGO partners registered more than 40,000 internally displaced people (IDP) in Jomba and Bwesa sectors.

The IDPs are living in difficult conditions, staying in school buildings and churches or with host families. They lack food and shelter and have limited access to health facilities. Some of the displaced have reported cases of extortion, forced labour, beatings and recruitment of minors to fight.

UNHCR and other major aid organizations plan to distribute food, medicine and other aid. More than 300,000 people have been forcibly displaced in North and South Kivu since the start of the year, according to UN figures.

Displaced by Fresh Fighting in North Kivu

Displaced in North Kivu: A Life on the Run

Fighting rages on in various parts of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with seemingly no end in sight for hundreds of thousands of Congolese forced to flee violence and instability over the past two years. The ebb and flow of conflict has left many people constantly on the move, while many families have been separated. At least 1 million people are displaced in North Kivu, the hardest hit province. After years of conflict, more than 1,000 people still die every day - mostly of hunger and treatable diseases. In some areas, two out of three women have been raped. Abductions persist and children are forcefully recruited to fight. Outbreaks of cholera and other diseases have increased as the situation deteriorates and humanitarian agencies struggle to respond to the needs of the displaced.

When the displacement crisis worsened in North Kivu in 2007, the UN refugee agency sent emergency teams to the area and set up operations in several camps for internally displaced people (IDPs). Assistance efforts have also included registering displaced people and distributing non-food aid. UNHCR carries out protection monitoring to identify human rights abuses and other problems faced by IDPs in North and South Kivu.

Displaced in North Kivu: A Life on the Run

Internally Displaced in Chad

In scenes of devastation similar to the carnage across the border in Darfur, some 20 villages in eastern Chad have been attacked, looted, burned and emptied by roving armed groups since 4 November. Hundreds of people have been killed, many more wounded and at least 15,000 displaced from their homes.

Some 7,000 people have gathered near Goz Beida town, seeking shelter under trees or wherever they can find it. As soon as security permits, UNHCR will distribute relief items. The UN refugee agency has already provided newly arrived IDPs at Habila camp with plastic sheeting, mats, blankets and medicine. The agency is scouting for a temporary site for the new arrivals and in the meantime will increase the number of water points in Habila camp.

The deteriorating security situation in the region and the effect it might have on UNHCR's operation to help the refugees and displaced people, is of extreme concern. There are 90,000 displaced people in Chad, as well as 218,000 refugees from Darfur in 12 camps in eastern Chad.

Posted on 30 November 2006

Internally Displaced in Chad

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