More than 7,500 Colombians have been displaced by the country’s armed conflict so far in 2010, according to a United Nations report, which says that “serious gaps [in] the protection of civilians call for urgent measures.”
The report, released Tuesday by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Colombia, also finds that “at least 20 minors have been injured or killed in the midst of combats [in] 2010 (as of 15 August).”
One of the most worrying situations, according to the report, is the forced displacement of over 300 people from the rural area of El Charco in the Nariño department, following fighting between the Colombian navy and the FARC.
“Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities from the rural areas are enduring a humanitarian crisis due to continued hostilities, food insecurity, mobility restrictions and mass displacements,” the report states.
According to the report, more than 18,000 people have been internally displaced from El Charco in the last three years, making it the municipality with the fourth highest number of forced internal displacements in the country.
The report also mentions the recent forced displacement of 380 indigenous Colombians in Caloto, Cauca, as well as in Nechi in the same department, due to combat between illegal armed groups.
The UNOCHA expressed concern over the situation in the south of the Cordoba department “where illegal armed groups are systematically targeting civilians in struggle over territorial control.”
Codhes, a Colombian NGO that closely monitors the nation’s internal conflict, published a report earlier this year stating that between 2002 and 2009, 2.4 million Colombians were forcibly displaced from their homes due to violence related to the guerrilla, paramilitaries, drug trafficking, and the Colombian army.