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Displacement is a very common feature of the conflicts in eastern Congo. The sampling included communities hosting internally displaced people, and, where appropriate, camps were included in the list of villages before random selection. About 81 percent reported they have been displaced at least once since 1993. Those most affected were in North Kivu, where one in three respondents (33%), remained displaced at the time of the survey, reflecting the ongoing fighting. Ituri was overall less affected, as displacement was least frequently reported there, still affecting three-quarters of the population.

Also, while those displaced in Ituri indicated having been displaced on average 2.5 times, those in South Kivu had been displaced 3.3 times and those in North Kivu 3.7 times. The survey confirms a pattern of multiple displacements, often to nearby areas, where the displaced are primarily hosted in the community (i.e., by friends or family members): less than half of those who were displaced at least once went to a displacement camp. This pattern made it all the more challenging to register and provide assistance to those displaced.

Table 5: Displacement

Table 5 - Displacement

Among those who were displaced at the time of the survey, the overwhelming cause of displacement for those in Ituri and North Kivu was armed conflict (90% in Ituri and 88% in North Kivu). While armed conflict was also the main cause of displacement in South Kivu (60%), one out of four respondents there cited “forced displacement” as its reason (answer options were not provided and the questions were left for the interpretation of the respondents). Respondents in Ituri identified social and/or ethnic tensions as a cause of displacement much more frequently (23%) than those in North Kivu (11%) and South Kivu (2%).

Table 6: Causes of displacement

Table 6 - Causes of displacement

Four of five (80%) displaced respondents stated that they would return to their villages when the security situation improved. While only few respondents in North Kivu (5%) and Ituri (2%) would never return to their place of origins, 19 percent of those in South Kivu reported that they would never return. One out of five respondents in Ituri did not know whether and when they would return.

Table 7: Return

Table 7 - Return