World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Flight Of Civilians Caught In Colombian Fighting

UN Agency Confirms New Flight Of Civilians Caught Up In Colombian Fighting

Some 1,200 people in a region of northwestern Colombia that was the site of a church massacre two years ago have fled their homes in fear of impending clashes between various armed groups in the country’s decades-old civil war, and the numbers seem to be climbing, the United Nations refugee agency warned today.

A UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) team visited Bellavista in Choca province yesterday and confirmed that some 1,200 Afro-Colombians had fled their communities along the Bojaya River, where left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas and right-wing United Self-Defence Forces (AUC) paramilitaries are reportedly massing while the Colombian Army prepares an offensive.

In the latest of several recent warnings over the situation in the area, UNHCR said 5,000 of the roughly 7,000 people living in the municipality of Bojaya could be at direct risk of displacement, according to the local authorities.

The agency called on all parties to abide by the principles of international humanitarian law and respect the civilian population.

The region is notorious for a May 2002 massacre, when 119 people taking refuge in the church at Bellavista were killed by mortar during fighting between FARC and AUC. Thousands of people left the area then and hundreds of them have still not returned. Last year, clashes between various armed groups, and with the Colombian military forces, resulted in several large-scale displacements. In March, 1,200 indigenous Embera fled their homes along the Opogado, Napipi and Bojayá rivers following, returning over the summer. In May, over 1,000 Afro-Colombians fled and sought refuge in Bellavista following fighting between the Colombian army and FARC.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC