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Security concerns in Chad

Briefing notes

Security concerns in Chad

8 May 2009

UNHCR operations in most of the camps for Darfur refugees in eastern Chad are continuing, but we are concerned by the volatile security situation in the region as several armed confrontations took place earlier this week in refugee areas. Fighting between Chadian troops and anti-government forces took place in the Koukou Angarana area, where 22,000 refugees from Darfur are hosted in Goz Amer camp. Some 60,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are also scattered in different settlements in that area. New fighting was reported yesterday (Thursday) in the Am Dam area, some 100 kms south of Abéché, the main town in eastern Chad.

On Wednesday, in face of the confusing security situation, UNHCR relocated 18 staff members from Koukou to Goz Beida, about 50 kms away. Two staff remained in Koukou to ensure that basic activities will continue in Goz Amer camp and in the displacement sites. But reduced humanitarian activities can only be sustained for a short while and we are hoping to regain access to the Koukou area very soon. Other aid agencies also relocated their staff out of Koukou as a precautionary security measure.

In eastern Chad, UNHCR and its humanitarian partners are care for 252,000 refugees from Sudan's war-torn Darfur region. They are in 12 camps stretched along the remote Chad-Sudan border. There are also 166,000 internally displaced Chadians in the east. In addition, we are also assisting 70,600 refugees from the Central African Republic in six sites in southern Chad.