Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2018, 17:46 GMT

Global Overview 2012: People internally displaced by conflict and violence - Ethiopia

Publisher Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)
Publication Date 29 April 2013
Cite as Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Global Overview 2012: People internally displaced by conflict and violence - Ethiopia, 29 April 2013, available at: [accessed 20 January 2018]
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.
Number of IDPsUndetermined
Percentage of total populationUndetermined
Start of displacement situationUndetermined
Peak number of IDPs (year)Undetermined
New displacement in 2012Undetermined
Causes of displacement✓ International armed conflict
✓ Internal armed conflict
✓ Deliberate policy or practice of arbitrary displacement
✓ Communal violence
x Criminal violence
x Political violence
Human development index173
Kampala ConventionSigned

In Ethiopia both natural and man-made disasters displace thousands of people every year. The country has experienced decades of violence between ethnic groups over access to resources and land, and between insurgent movements seeking autonomy and government.

Displacement was caused by localised violence in regions including Gambella and Benishangul-Gumuz, and by protracted violent conflict in Oromiya and Somali regions. In the Somali region, fighting between the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and government forces has been ongoing for over three decades. Peace talks between the Government of Ethiopia and the ONLF hosted by Kenya's government in Nairobi broke down in early October 2012.

Information on the scale of displacement and the current situation of IDPs in Ethiopia remained difficult to obtain due to restrictions on access. Most IDPs had reportedly sought shelter with relatives, rather than gathering in camps. Restrictions on access also means that the needs of IDPs are not adequately addressed.

In displacement-affected regions including Somali, southern Oromiya and Gambella, food security, health, nutrition and access to water were all major concerns. The government and its international partners provided humanitarian assistance to communities in these areas, not primarily because they had been displaced, but because they were also affected by natural disasters. According to the UN, around 3.8 million Ethiopians were in need of humanitarian support in 2012, due to recurrent droughts and floods resulting in food insecurity, water shortage and acute stress on households and livelihoods.

Ethiopia was one of the first countries to sign the Kampala Convention, but had not ratified it by the end of 2012.

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