Last Updated: Monday, 01 September 2014, 14:30 GMT

Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2009 - Senegal

Publisher Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)
Publication Date 17 May 2010
Cite as Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2009 - Senegal, 17 May 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4bf2526b2.html [accessed 2 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Quick facts
Number of IDPs24,000-40,000
Percentage of total population0.2-0.3%
Start of current displacement situation1982
Peak number of IDPs (Year)70,000 (2007)
New displacement1,000
Causes of displacementInternal armed conflict
Human development index166

Senegal's Casamance region has since 1982 witnessed low-intensity conflict between government forces and the separatist Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC). A 2004 peace agreement was rejected by an MFDC faction. 2009 witnessed a surge in violence with heavy clashes between the Senegalese army and MFDC militants.

The actual number of people still internally displaced across Casamance is unknown, as no profiling exercise was carried out in 2009. Estimates range between 24,000 and 40,000 IDPs. In September, an attack by rebels on an army base near Ziguinchor led to the displacement of some 600 people.

Gender-based violence is believed to be widespread, but has tended to go unreported. For children, violence and displacement have disrupted access to education, as schools in some parts of the region have been closed and teachers have preferred not to go back to insecure areas.

In some cases, displacement lasted only a few days. In others, IDPs were supported by family members or host communities while commuting to their home areas by day to tend their orchards.

According to the evidence available, most IDP returns have been spontaneous and unassisted. Because of landmines planted by the MFDC, freedom of movement has generally remained limited. In 2009, insecurity hampered humanitarian demining efforts and put on hold government construction plans around border areas, further impeding the achievement of durable solutions.

Senegal has no bodies with a mandate to protect IDPs, nor has it developed legislation or policies in their favour. In 2009 Senegal was not among the countries which signed the Kampala Convention. Regional development plans have targeted IDPs among other groups, including people remaining in conflict areas. International organisations have outsourced most programme implementation to local NGOs as they face a lack of access.

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