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Chad: Arrivals from Central African Republic continue

Briefing notes

Chad: Arrivals from Central African Republic continue

28 February 2006

The transfer of thousands of newly arrived refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) to camps in southern Chad is continuing amid new reports of more than 1,000 additional arrivals in another remote Chadian border village. A UNHCR team is scheduled to travel to the border village of Békan today to check out the latest reports of new arrivals from the lawless northern CAR. Chadian Red Cross sources said 1,043 CAR refugees had reportedly arrived in Békan, reportedly from the northern CAR town of Bétoko. If this new report is accurate, it would bring the total number of new CAR arrivals this month in southern Chad to more than 5,000. Most of the February arrivals fled to the Chadian border village of Békoninga, 30 km east of Békan.

Meanwhile, UNHCR and its partners are continuing the transfer of CAR refugees from Békoninga to the Amboko and Gondjé refugee sites near the main southern town of Goré - about 30 km inland. Since last Wednesday when the transfer operation began, a total of 1,083 CAR refugees have been transported from Békoninga to the two established sites, including 245 yesterday. With the addition of more trucks today, we expect to start moving an average of 300 people daily away from the border. About 2,000 CAR refugees are still awaiting transfer in Békoninga, and a few new ones are arriving daily. Local leaders said about 60 refugees arrived over the weekend from CAR, so the flow has slowed from the 200 who were arriving daily a week ago. They are fleeing banditry as well as hostilities between rebel groups and government forces in the northern region of the Central African Republic.