Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2010 - Senegal

Quick facts
Number of IDPs10,000-40,000
Percentage of total population0.1-0.3%
Start of current displacement situation1982
Peak number of IDPs (Year)70,000 (2007)
New displacementAbout 4,000
Causes of displacementArmed conflict, human rights violations
Human development index144

Successive peace agreements have failed to put an end to low-intensity conflict in Senegal's Casamance Region, where government forces and the separatist Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC) have been fighting since 1982. Cultural discrimination, a lack of livelihood opportunities and an influx of people from other regions following a land reform imposed by the government all helped to cause the conflict. During 2009 and at the beginning of 2010, clashes between government forces and the MFDC grew more frequent and intense in southern Casamance, and reportedly led to the new displacement of approximately 4,000 people.

There has been no reliable data on the overall number of IDPs. Since 2008, many people have returned but the number of people whose return has been sustainable is unknown, as is the number who have successfully integrated in their place of displacement or settled elsewhere. There were between 10,000 to 40,000 IDPs in 2010, many of them in Ziguinchor, the largest city of Casamance.

Limited access to land has stopped many IDPs developing sustainable livelihoods, due in part to the many landmines in the areas they fled from. In these areas crime has been rampant and infrastructure and basic services have remained poor. Women and children remain most at risk: displaced children have often struggled in integrated classes in areas of displacement, and others have been abandoned by families facing poverty. Many women have been forced to turn to begging or prostitution to support themselves and their families.

Senegal has not signed the Kampala Convention and has no national bodies, legislation or policies in support of IDPs. The government's response has instead included IDPs in wider reconstruction, peacebuilding and development activities, such as the Programme for Revival of Economic and Social activities (PRAESC).

International programmes have also targeted wider populations; some of benefit to IDPs have focused on food security, education, demobilisation and reintegration of combatants, and reconstruction in areas of return.


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