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Top UNHCR official to visit refugees in central Africa

Top UNHCR official to visit refugees in central Africa

Assistant High Commissioner Kamel Morjane starts his mission to the Central African Republic and Chad this weekend. He will visit Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad and Central African refugees in southern Chad, highlighting security concerns surrounding them.
12 December 2003
Central African refugees in Maro, in southern Chad's Gore region.

GENEVA, Dec 12 (UNHCR) - Security conditions in the Central African Republic and Chad will be on the agenda when the UN refugee agency's Assistant High Commissioner, Kamel Morjane, starts a six-day mission this weekend to review operations in central Africa.

Arriving in the Central African Republic on Saturday, the Assistant High Commissioner will meet the president, General François Bozizé, to discuss the need to stabilise the situation in the north. This could pave the way for more than 40,000 Central African refugees to return after fleeing fighting into southern Chad earlier this year.

Morjane will also visit a refugee camp for Congolese refugees, some of whom have registered to go home. There are some 50,700 refugees in the Central African Republic, including 36,700 from Sudan, 10,400 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1,880 from Chad, 265 from Rwanda and 65 from Burundi.

Another highlight of Morjane's mission is the security situation of more than 75,000 Sudanese refugees who have fled the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region into eastern Chad since April. Many are living on makeshift sites near the volatile Chad-Sudan border, and UNHCR is working to relocate them to alternative sites further inland in the coming weeks.

The Assistant High Commissioner will visit some of the border sites in eastern Chad after meeting the Chadian president, Idriss Deby, to discuss security conditions along the Chad-Sudan frontier.

While in Chad, the UNHCR official will also travel to the south to review operations in Goré, which hosts the more than 40,000 Central African refugees, before returning to Geneva on Thursday.