EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Water and conflict on internal displacement: network analysis of Somalia case

Woi Sok Oh1,2, Rachata Muneepeerakul3, Daniel Rubenstein2, Mehran Homayounfar3, and Simon Levin1,2
Woi Sok Oh et al.
  • 1High Meadows Environmental Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, USA
  • 2Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, USA
  • 3Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA

Recent decades have witnessed an increasing trend of displacement—forced movements of people, e.g., refugee, internal displacement, asylum. The greatest portion of global displaced populations are internally displaced persons (IDP) who travel within a country's boundary. IDPs are relocated due to varying reasons such as conflict, drought, flood, etc. Somalia is particularly renowned for protracted internal displacement due to long-lasting conflicts, extreme droughts, and flooding events. Despite the severity and continuity of the problem, we still lack an understanding of how water (here, droughts and floods) and conflict build IDP networks respectively. This research answers the following questions to solve the gap: (1) What are the underlying push and pull mechanisms in water-induced and conflict-induced IDP networks?; (2) How are water-induced and conflict-induced IDP networks structured and characterized?; (3) How do geographical locations cluster differently in two IDP networks? The analysis was conducted on the yearly IDP flow data at the district level in Somalia. We compared water-induced and conflict-induced IDP networks in Somalia using multiple network metrics, motif analysis, and community detection algorithms. From the analysis, conflict-induced IDP networks followed a power law for both indegree and outdegree. Though the in-degree networks of water-induced IDPs were weakly scale-free, the out-degree case was a random network. Both water-induced and conflict-induced IDP networks shared a similar mesoscopic network structure through the motif analysis. Closed triads were more frequently observed, supporting the importance of social linkages such as social homophily or information/knowledge sharing. Through the community detection, we found that water drove IDPs to move to nearby locations and led neighboring locations to clustered. Conflict, however, facilitated IDP flows between remote locations, building geographically-dispersed clusters. These findings offer an in-depth insight into commonalities and differences between water-induced and conflict-induced IDP networks in Somalia.

How to cite: Oh, W. S., Muneepeerakul, R., Rubenstein, D., Homayounfar, M., and Levin, S.: Water and conflict on internal displacement: network analysis of Somalia case, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10886,, 2022.