More than 2.5 mn displaced in Colombian civil strife: Report

June 15th, 2008 - 12:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Bogota, June 15 (IANS) More than 2.5 million people have been displaced in Colombia’s decade-old civil war involving the government forces, right-wing militias and the leftist guerrillas, the National Planning Department (DNP) has said. “In 2002, displacement reached its peak in the number of persons forced to leave their homes,” EFE news agency quoted DNP chief Carolina Renteria as telling a convention Saturday.

The government has worked out a rehabilitation programme for the internal refugees and allocated some $625 million for education, health care and housing of the displaced, Renteria said.

According to the DNP report, 92 percent of displaced come from rural areas.

Colombia has been wracked by civil conflicts involving leftist rebels, right-wing paramilitaries and government forces.

In the years since President Alvaro Uribe took office in 2002, the right-wing paramilitary federation has been demobilized and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s largest and fiercest leftwing insurgent group, is being increasingly pushed into remote jungle and mountain areas.

The FARC has suffered large loss this year in the death of its founder, Manuel “Sureshot” Marulanda, and the killings of two top commanders.

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