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Causes and impacts of internal displacement in Ethiopia

Gedifew Sewenet Yigzaw
Endalsasa Belay Abitew


The overall objective of this study was to explore the causes and impacts of internal displacement in Ethiopia. This study has mainly employed qualitative research approach in which the data were collected from secondary sources and the research method is descriptive because the study has attempted to describe and explore the main contributing factors of internal displacement and its socio-economic, and psychological impacts on the community and internally displaced persons (IDPs). In order to assure the relevance and importance of the collected data, the researchers reviewed related literature on the causes and impacts of internal displacement in Ethiopia, Africa and other parts of the continents. As the method of data analysis, content analysis was applied for this study. This study highlighted that the internal displacement of people in Ethiopia is a severe human tragedy that results in huge numbers of people being displaced every year. The study showed that conflict (i.e., inter-communal violence, regional political instability, ethnic tensions and localized conflicts), climatic induced factors (landslides, flooding, famine and drought) and the country’s policy of resettlement and relocation (development-driven causes), and poor governing capacity of the country were major contributing factors which aggravated the internal displacement in the country. The conflict took the primary percentage and followed by the climate-driven causes and policy of resettlement and relocation. Finally, this study revealed that internal displacement disrupted the social intimacy, economically affected the IDPs and the host communities, led the IDPs into homelessness, brought economic hardship, made them to be more vulnerable to psychological violence and led IDPs into death.

Keywords: Causes, climate, conflict, Ethiopia, IDPs, impacts, internal displacement, resettlement and relocation