GENEVA — More than a million people in eastern and central Africa have fled their homes in the past six months, bringing the internally displaced population there to over 10 million, the UN said on Tuesday.
Between March and September, 10 out of 18 countries in the region recorded a jump of 1.08 million in the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) mainly due to conflicts, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report.
A total of 10.18 million are now displaced within their home countries, it added.
The escalation of fighting in central Somalia and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo had contributed significantly to the growth, said the Displaced Populations Report.
"An estimated 250,000 people were displaced from Mogadishu alone by fighting between forces of the transitional federal government and various militias in May 2009," said OCHA spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of Congo alone recorded a net increase of over 779,000 IDPs in the past six months amid renewed violence in Nord-Kivu and Sud-Kivu provinces.
In all, 2.12 million people have been uprooted from their homes in the country.
The number of refugees who fled across borders also grew in east and central Africa, up 5,061 since March 2009 to 1.875 million, said OCHA.
"Chad, Kenya, Sudan and Tanzania continue to host the highest number of refugees, with each having over 250,000 refugees at the end of September 2009," said Byrs.
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