Ethiopia’s Ministry of Peace has announced plans to repatriate all internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their areas of origin until the end of this month.
Ethiopia is home to the highest number of conflict-related internally displaced people (IDP) in the world, according to recent report by Internal Displacement Monitoring Center’s (IDMC) 2019 Global report.
According to the report, Ethiopia has 2.9 million internally displaced people due to conflicts and violence, higher than in Syria and Somalia.
“Unresolved conflicts and a rise in communal violence were responsible for most of the 10.8 million new displacements associated with conflict and violence in 2018,” says the report.
“Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Syria accounted for more than half of the global figure.
“Against a backdrop of important and many positive political changes, 2.9 million new displacements associated with conflict were recorded in Ethiopia, the highest figure in the world and four times as many as in 2017,” the report said.
Minister of Peace, Muferiat Kamil, told journalists over the weekend that the repatriation process will be conducted voluntarily.
The government, however, claimed there are a total 2.3 million IDPs, and 1.2 million of them were displaced before March 2018 and the remaining 1.1 million after April 2018, she said.
The IDPs received food and non-food assistance in their temporary sites, with the government of Ethiopia covering 60 percent of the spending and donors contributing the remaining 40 percent, according to Muferiat.
As a result of the efforts undertaken during the past two months, 1.3 million people have returned to their areas of origin, the minister said.
She said the returnees will be provided with all the necessary rehabilitation support for the intervening six months.