At least 216 families of African-Colombian descent, totalling 648 people, have been displaced in the municipality of Tumaco by an increasingly violent territorial dispute between unidentified armed groups.
The displaced are fleeing clashes that started on July 26, according to a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), with the support of the Unit of Information Management and Analysis of Colombia (UMAIC) and information of the Local Coordinating Team of Nariño (ELC).
The families have moved to nearby neighborhoods and rural areas with family and friends, but some reportedly return home at certain times of the day to look after their belongings. Most of them belong to the Viento Libre, La Paz, Buenos Aires, Tres Cruces, Panamá, 11 de Noviembre and Tanagareal neighborhoods in urban Tumaco.
Many mothers have been unable to carry out their daily economic activities, such as commerce and fishing, which has made the situation for families even more difficult. Many children have abandoned school because their families fear they could be targeted by armed groups or caught in the crossfire.
According to the community leaders interviewed for the report, the families need urgent security against the armed groups, in addition to basic requirements such as water and sanitation. They are also asking for food security, along with psychological and physical care.
The ELC has announced it will continue monitoring the emergency situation in coordination with municipal and department authorities.