Saturday, June 12, 2010

ZIMBABWE: INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT CRISIS NEEDS DURABLE SOLUTIONS

ZIMBABWE: Official acknowledgment of displacement yet to be translated into strategies for durable solutions

Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre

Date: 21 May 2010

OVERVIEW

Hundreds of thousands of people in Zimbabwe remain internally displaced as a result of government policies and actions. The two largest groups of internally displaced people (IDPs) are farm workers and their families who have been displaced as a result of the fast-track land reform programme, which began in 2000 and continues to this day; and people displaced as a result of arbitrary evictions in Zimbabwe's towns and cities. Others have been displaced by government campaigns against informal mine workers, and by politically-motivated violence.

The situation of IDPs varies widely, depending on the reasons for their displacement and the length of time they have been displaced. Accordingly, their needs range from emergency humanitarian assistance to interventions aimed at securing durable solutions. For a significant proportion of IDPs local integration in the place of displacement would be the preferred durable solution, but lack of security of tenure presents a major obstacle.

Since the formation of the Government of National Unity in February 2009, the government's approach to internal displacement in Zimbabwe has begun to improve. While the previous government did not acknowledge the existence of internal displacement in the country, the new government participated in a joint rapid IDP assessment with the United Nations in August 2009, and has called for a more comprehensive and nationwide IDP assessment to be conducted in 2010. Humanitarian access to some groups of IDPs has also improved.

In October 2009, President Mugabe signed the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of IDPs in Africa.

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