Niger: Lull in conflict favours return in the north

Since the conflict between the Nigerian government and Tuareg groups intensified in 2007 following the creation of the Mouvement Nigérien pour la Justice, around 11,000 people have been displaced from their homes in mountainous areas north of Agadez. The conflict has abated in 2009, and many of the internally displaced people (IDPs) have started going back to their homes, whether spontaneously or with assistance from the local municipalities and the international community. With a state of emergency in place in the whole region and humanitarian access limited, the available information rarely gives a comprehensive assessment of the situation of either IDPs or returnees.