Marguerite Nguena poses in the house she occupies.

Marguerite Nguena, 62, widow, lives with some of her seven children and some of her grandchildren.

"On December 5, 2013, I fled to the Mpoko displaced site with my husband, children and grandchildren. A few months later my husband took a stray bullet at the site. It killed him. After that, we went to a cousin's house next door to the Combattants neighborhood. We lived a year like this for 14 people in the house. And then my cousin's wife chased us away."

"Then I came back to Bazanga. I live in the house of a Muslim who fled the neighborhood. He wants to put his house back on rent, but I can't afford to pay the rent. He gave me six months to find a solution. If I don't find a solution, I will have to go back to my native village in Bossembélé."

"I don't have a job. Sometimes members of my church give me something to help me. We are in a state of insecurity. Again tonight, around 9:00 p. m. we heard cracklings of weapons."

Since 2013, numerous outbreaks of community violence have provoked fighting in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. In the most exposed neighbourhoods, the population was forced to flee to seek refuge with their families or in the various IDP sites of the city. Today all these sites have been closed and the inhabitants are returning home. The NRC meets these returnees to raise awareness of land rights and help them resolve conflicts related to illegal house occupations and evictions.

Photo credit: NRC/Alexis Huguet
Date: August 25, 2017
Read caption Marguerite Nguena fled from violence in the Central African Republic in 2013. Her husband was shot, and now she lives together with her children and grandchildren. In 2018, more than half a million Central Africans were displaced as a result of the conflict in the country. Photo: Alexis Huguet/NRC, August 2017

What you should know about people who are displaced in their own country

Published 10. May 2019
Last year alone, 28 million people were displaced in their own country as a result of conflict and disaster, according to a new report from the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).


The report shows that 10.8 million people were displaced in their own country as a result of war and conflict in 2018. In addition, disasters such as floods and tropical cyclones led to 17 million new internally displaced people last year.

Read the Global Report on Internal Displacement 2019 from IDMC here.



What do we mean by internally displaced people?

Internally displaced people are people who have fled their homes but continue to live in their home country.

Internally displaced people are not the same as refugees because refugees are people who have fled across a national border and are no longer living in their home country.


Why are so many people displaced in their own country?

Altogether, there are now over 41 million internally displaced people as a result of war and conflict in the world – a higher figure than ever before. This high number is a result of people being displaced for years or being forced to flee multiple times, combined with the great number of new internally people in 2018.

Internal displacement is a global phenomenon, but a few countries are much more seriously affected than others. In each of the nine hardest hit countries, over one million people were internally displaced in 2018 alone.


Which countries are hardest hit?

More than half of those internally displaced by conflict last year are from Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo or Syria. In countries such as Afghanistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Somalia, both conflict and disaster forced people to flee their homes.