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Chad: Concerns over deteriorating security

Briefing notes

Chad: Concerns over deteriorating security

4 December 2007

We are concerned about the deteriorating security situation in eastern Chad after fighting over the past 10 days between various rebel forces and the government army has limited our access to some refugee camps and left refugees and displaced people feeling extremely insecure.

The fighting, mainly in the Farchana (Hadjer Hadid), Iriba, Biltine and Guéréda areas located north and east of Abéché - our main operational base for the 12 refugee camps - has generally taken place away from inhabited areas and has not caused any population movements. But refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) as well as the local population have told UNHCR that they live in fear that the already volatile situation may worsen.

Refugees in camps in Farchana, Guéréda, Iriba and Goz Beida further south - which together host some 212,000 refugees from Darfur - are starting to suffer the consequences of the volatile situation. UNHCR and its partners only had limited access to these refugee areas in the past week due to the insecurity. All essential services are however, still running in the camps.

Over 130 humanitarian aid workers from various organisations, blocked in the town of Hadjer Hadid south-west of Farchana since 24 November by heavy fighting, were finally relocated yesterday, Monday, to Abéché. The volatile situation has also prompted an increase in banditry. We continue to monitor the security situation very closely.

Together with our partners, we are taking care of 240,000 refugees from Darfur in eastern Chad. We also assist 180,000 IDPs near Farchana, Goz Beida and Koukou-Angarana.