The United Nations said Tuesday it has received reports of mass displacement in the southern Colombian department of Cauca.
The Colombian Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) are planning to send aid to three municipalities in the department of Cauca, where residents have reportedly been forced to leave their homes over the past week due to intense fighting between the army and FARC guerrillas.
The UN organization says 224 indigenous people, including 18 elderly natives, six disabled people and 80 children, were forcibly displaced in the municipality of Suarez, in the north of Cauca, following confrontations between the Colombian security forces and rebel group FARC. The organization says the victims took refuge in a local school on June, 7 and the mayor’s office is providing food aid, however more families are expected to arrive who will need humanitarian assistance.
In the coastal municipality of Guapi, 960 people, the majority Afro-Colombians and indigenous, have been reported as forcibly displaced from rural areas to since June, 9 due to violence. The local government, which according to the UN lack sufficient resources, has requested assistance from departmental, national and international communities.
A confrontation between the FARC and the Colombian police on June, 8 in a town in Argelia left two women dead, 9 people injured and 14 homes destroyed. OCHA reports that protection measures were taken, however most of the town’s population fled to rural areas. One woman and her child were also injured during attacks in Guapi on June, 10. Ombudsman Jorge Armando Otálora Gómez told Colombian media that the 33 year-old woman was 28-weeks pregnant.
OCHA has a local humanitarian team in Valle del Cauca, who are monitoring the situation. They intend to send aid to the municipalities of Suarez, Argelia and Guapi through the International Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières (Spain).
Displacement in Cauca
- Desplazamientos masivos en Argelia, Guapi, y Suárez (La Sala de Situación Humanitaria)
- Arremetida de la guerrilla en Cauca causa desplazamiento de más de 230 familias campesinas (Radio Santa Fe)