GENEVA, Switzerland, October 21, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Widespread violence since October 7th has led to a renewed displacement of vulnerable people in and around Bangui, the capital of the Central Africa Republic (CAR), according to IOM.
Preliminary analysis of data provided by IOM's displacement tracking matrix (DTM) suggests that the new displacement has increased the total number of displaced people in and around Bangui to over 64,300.
The latest movements included the arrival of some 4,300 more internally displaced people (IDPs) in the town of Bimbo, 25 kms southwest of Bangui, some of whom have come from IDP sites in other severely affected areas.
Despite positive return trends from IDP sites over recent weeks, even to areas classified as highly volatile, the renewed surge in inter-communal violence since Tuesday has prompted a significant number of people to seek safety in already established sites in public buildings, churches, seminars, schools and hospitals.
Much of the newly displaced population originates from Bangui's 3rd and 5th districts, with additional displacement taking place in and around Bimbo.
Tournons la page, a community association established to support IOM's European Union (EU)-funded community stabilization efforts, notes: “Since Tuesday last week we have observed that not only no new families are indicating their wish to return to our neighbourhood, but a number of families who have just returned from the Mpoko airport site, have left again. The sound of gunfire and the thick smoke from burning houses in the neighborhoods scared many people and brings back terrible memories. Most families left as a precaution, while others were being directly threatened. We hope the situation stabilizes quickly so we can try to convince them to come back again. We really hope that an end of the violence is in sight.”
Tournons la page works with local organizations to provide sustainable return opportunities through the provision of individual house clean-up kits. Through a program called “Community Stabilization and Early Recovery for At-Risk Communities in Bangui,” which is funded by the EU, Tournons la page has helped over 70 families to return from various displacement sites.
IOM, through its site facilitator programme funded by ECHO, OFDA and the UN CERF, is actively tracking population movements to support ongoing humanitarian assistance efforts.
Since December 2013, IOM's DTM has been providing life-saving, real-time data on displacement trends, humanitarian needs and gaps for IDP sites in Bangui. This is shared with other humanitarian partners through the Commission Mouvement de Population (CMP) to plan and improve the effectiveness of humanitarian relief operations.