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

Quick facts
Number of IDPs10,000
Percentage of total population0.2%
Start of current displacement situation1998
Peak number of IDPs (Year)1,000,000 (2000)
New displacement0
Causes of displacementInternational armed conflict
Human development index165

According to OCHA's Displaced Population Report of October 2009, there were no IDPs in Eritrea. However, UN and human rights sources reported that an estimated 10,000 people were yet to be resettled who had been displaced during the 1998-2000 border war between Eritrea and Ethiopia over the contested Badme region.

There were no major conflicts between Eritrea and its neighbours in 2009, although tensions over regions on the borders with Ethiopia and Djibouti remained and could yet lead to security and humanitarian crises if left unresolved.

The war with Ethiopia displaced an estimated million people within Eritrea. After the conflict ended, the government and its international partners made efforts to help displaced families return to their home areas, and assisted others who wished to resettle in other parts of the country. They invested in programmes to provide basic services and livelihoods to families that had returned or settled in other villages.

The government reported in December 2009 that the internally displaced families who had resettled were leading better lives as a result of the development and livelihoods programmes which it had implemented.

However, despite these efforts, it is difficult to say whether IDPs have found durable solutions in areas of return or resettlement. The government has not accepted proposals made by the UN country team to carry out a joint assessment, although the last assessment dates back to 2006.

Human rights organisations have also reported that in 2009 the government perpetrated human rights violations including forced conscription, extra-judicial killings, and arbitrary detention, while restricting independent media and humanitarian organisations. In 2009, thousands of Eritreans reportedly fled the country. Eritrea was yet to sign the Kampala Convention by the end of 2009.


This 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.