Nails Three hundred Afro-Colombian and indigenous families have had to leave their homes, victims of forced displacementin the area of the San Juan river, in the jungle department of Chocó (northwestern Colombia), due to armed confrontations between the Clan del Golfo and the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN).
Is about about 1,500 people who have arrived in the last days to the municipal seats of Istmina and Nóvitafrom the San Juan, a river whose communities are constantly exposed to clashes between groups and their control, as reported this Sunday by the Ombudsman.
Forced displacement increases in Chocó
“From the Ombudsman’s Office we are accompanying the Chocoan communities of Charco Largo, Barrancón, Barranconcito, Charco Hondo, in remote areas of Sipí, which were displaced to the municipal seat of Istmina; and to the communities of Santa Bárbara, Cajón, San José and Torrá, in the rural area of Nóvita,” informed the Ombudsman, Carlos Camargo.
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In addition, the Ombudsman warned that there is also “a significant number of families” who have not been able to flee the violence because of “the risk of possible new confrontations between the armed groups” and are confined and exposed to the risks of the conflict.
“Due to the complex situation that is about to overwhelm the capacity of local entities, I urge national and departmental authorities to take the pertinent measures to mitigate humanitarian deficiencies of the affected ethnic communities,” asked Camargo.
Many of the families, according to this state organization, they left after the ELN threatened them saying that they could not continue in the territories since the dispute with the paramilitaries of the Clan del Golfo, also called the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC), was going to worsen.
The UN Office for Human Rights also ruled today on the situation in Novita and Sipiclaiming that they have documented “violations of human rights and infringements of International Humanitarian Law (IHL)”.
tomorrow there will be one government commission in the areaaccording to the UN, which called on the armed groups “to respect IHL and in particular the principles of precaution, proportionality, distinction and humanity”.
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“We urge the State to protect and care for the population. We remind the groups of their obligation to respect the rights to life, integrity and humanitarian assistance for the population that does not participate in the hostilities,” the UN office said.
This zone It is a common scene of fighting between these two groupsafter the ELN has lost influence in the area and the AGC is extending its control from the Caribbean and the border with Panama through the Pacific to the south.
The population is constantly exposed to this type of forced displacement and also to confinement that their possibilities of looking for food, cultivating their farms or seeking medical help diminish.