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Chad: new refugee camp for Central Africans opens in south

Briefing notes

Chad: new refugee camp for Central Africans opens in south

27 May 2008

In a race against the start of the rainy season in mid-June, UNHCR on Friday began the transfer of 9,526 newly arrived refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) to a new camp in Moula, southern Chad. The CAR refugees are being moved from a transit centre about 25 km from the Chad-CAR border to the new Moula camp, which is some 150 km inland. Since Friday, 1,662 refugees have already been moved in two convoys. We hope to have 15-truck convoys running every two days, before the roads become impassable.

This latest wave of CAR refugees arrived in southern Chad between January and March this year following violence in northern CAR. Many reported their villages had been burned and looted, and some people killed. Smaller groups of refugees have continued to cross the border.

Initially, UNHCR had planned to transfer the group to one of our three refugee camps near Goré, our base in southern Chad. But the most recent group refused to go there, citing inter-ethnic tensions. This prompted us to build a new camp 50 km south of Danamadji, our office in south-eastern Chad.

The refugees, most of them farmers, were glad to be moving to the better-equipped camp at Moula. Each family will be granted a 2.5 hectare plot of land, and FAO will later in the year distribute seeds and tools, while WFP will distribute monthly food rations. The refugees are currently accommodated in family tents, but will soon start building their own homes.

UNHCR now operates five refugee camps in southern Chad for over 56,000 refugees from northern CAR. We also operate 12 camps in eastern Chad for some 250,000 refugees from Sudan's Darfur region.