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Forced Migration in Ethiopia is classified in three categories: internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees in Ethiopia, and trafficking.


Conflict-induced displacement is the most significant form of internal displacement in Ethiopia. The Ethio-Eritrean war, which erupted in May 1998, accounted for the largest number of displaced people since the current government came to power in 1991. Over 350,000 people were displaced at the start of the war from areas along the common border of the Tigray and Afar regions. An additional 95,000 Ethiopians were deported from Eritrea, and as the conflict escalated, people residing close to the borderlines were evacuated.

Drought-induced and famine-induced displacements are chronic problems in Ethiopia and development-induced displacement occurs due to road construction.

Relevant issues concerning IDPs include the presence of landmines, HIV/AIDS, and problems of the families of deceased soldiers.

Refugees in Ethiopia - principally Somalis, Sudanese, and Eritreans – often arrive as a result of ongoing political and civil unrest in the Horn of Africa as well as natural disasters (mostly drought).

Trafficking, particularly of women and young girls, is another significant form of forced migration in Ethiopia.

This resource summary highlights a sample selection of web-based resources available on FMO that focus on Ethiopia and Ethiopian people, with particular regard to the issue of forced migration.

Links are provided to full-text documents, journal articles, web resources, and organizations.

Research Guide


Selected full-text documents (for more, search in the Digital Library)


Web Resources

Selected web-based information resources (for more, search the FMO website)


Relevant Organizations

Contact details for organizations based in Ethiopia (for more, search in the Organizations Directory)


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Photograph of returnees walking and carrying their possesions.

Arrival of returnees from Kenya in the region of Borena.

© UNHCR/M. Elkhoury

Map of Ethiopia
Last updated Sep 06, 2011