Authorities in Ituango, Antioquia are predicting the arrival of some
900 displaced people from surrounding districts, due to fighting
between the army and guerrillas, El Colombiano reported Wednesday.
Mayor Carlos Mario Gallo Machado of Ituango said that 17 families have already arrived seeking refuge and more are expected.
“After the displacement a year ago we looked after 663 people from six districts, but now we’ve been informed by community action groups that seven more districts have been displaced, so we calculate we will be receiving some 900 people,” he said.
Fredy Rendon, director of Dapard — a disaster prevention and recovery department — said that approximately 300 families had been displaced in areas about three days walk from Ituango.
Rendon said army would do what it could to take control of the zone so that the displaced families could return to their homes.
Gallo Machado requested governmental help to take care of the anticipated arrivals.
“The economic situation of the municipality can not afford to support these displaced people. As a result we are alerting the national government so that they can offer some support to this population,” he said.
The displaced communities have also reported that their land and paths are filled with landmines.
The United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) has repeatedly denounced both displacement and the use of landmines and their affect on the civilian population in Colombia.
Meanwhile indigenous authorities from El
Romano, La Conquista and La Ilusión in the north-west department of Arauca expressed concern that their communities may be forced to leave their land if the armed conflict in the zone does not stop.
They requested urgent intervention from government authorities to ensure they can remain on their ancestral land and not beocme victims of teh conflict.
Authorities will evaluate their situation in the hope of finding a solution llanera.com reported Wednesday.