More than 3.9 million new displacements were recorded in 2016 as a result of conflicts, violence, and disasters, leaving 12.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) as of the end of the year, according to a new report.
The 2017 African Report on Internal Displacement was launched on Friday at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, during a high level dialogue on displacement, organized by the pan-African bloc and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
About 37 of Africa's 55 countries across every region have been affected to the displacements, according to the report published to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the AU Convention for Protection and Assistance of IDPs in Africa, dubbed the Kampala Convention.
Conflict and violence have caused 70 percent of Africa's new displacements in 2016, a total of 2.8 million across 23 countries, says the report, adding the continent has accounted for 40 percent of conflict displacement globally.
East African region continues to host the highest number of IDPs, with 6.8 million of the continent's total as of 2016. The region has had the highest cumulative figures for seven of last eight years, driven by protracted and cyclical conflicts in Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan.
Conflict displacement in Central Africa is escalating at such a rate, with more than 1.3 million new incidents between January and June 2017 that the region may well overtake East Africa as the worst-affected region both in terms of new displacements and long-term IDPs.
The report further states that the scale and relentless nature of the phenomenon are beyond the scope of humanitarian action.
The report warns that displacement reverses development gains and has profound implications for the future achievements of targets in many African countries and regions.
It calls for full ratification and implementation of the Kampala convention, while emphasizing on the need to have better evidence and data towards more appropriate responses to the issue.
The report also calls for political will across Africa to address the continent's displacement crises comprehensively.