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Colombia: On the move

23-04-1998 News Release 98/16

The latest upsurge in violence in several regions of Colombia has caused many people to flee their homes, and the ICRC and the Colombian Red Cross have launched emergency relief operations to assist the newly displaced. In the region of Urabá, for instance, some 110 people who fled the fighting have sought shelter in San José de Apartadó. Some families do try to return home as soon as possible, as has been noted in the Pavarando reception centre, where only around 1,600 displaced remain.

In the department of Cordoba, around 400 people have left the region of Nudo del Paramillo and moved towards Tierradentro and Juan José (Puerto Libertador). The local branch of the Colombian Red Cross and delegates from the ICRC's sub-delegation in Apartadó have started providing them with emergency aid.

In the eastern reaches of the department of Antioquia, over 200 people fled the San Rafael area following clashes between paramilitary groups and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). In its capacity as a neutral intermediary between the parties to the conflict, the ICRC has stepped in to supply emergency relief assistance. In the west of the same department, about a dozen families who wanted to return to their places of origin in Nudo del Paramillo were prevented from doing so and have had to seek refuge elsewhere, this time in the region of Ituango.

Lastly, in La Guajira, one of the departments least affected by the internal conflict, several incidents reported since the beginning of the year have driven some inhabitants from their homes. A first group of 43 families has already received aid from the Colombian Red Cross and the ICRC.