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Chad: Insecurity preventing access to Central Africans in remote border areas

Briefing notes

Chad: Insecurity preventing access to Central Africans in remote border areas

14 March 2006

Insecurity is preventing UNHCR and its partners from reaching an estimated 2,600 people from the northern Central African Republic (CAR) who have reportedly fled to a remote border area in southern Chad. According to Chadian authorities, some 2,600 Central African Republic refugees (462 families) have gathered in the village of Bedakoussang, about 10 km from the border and 35 km from Goré, the main town in southern Chad. UNHCR and its partners have been unable to verify their presence, however, because of rebel military activity around the nearby village of Bekan, 10 km from Bedakoussang. Chadian authorities reported that an unidentified rebel group attacked Bekan on Sunday (12 March).

Chadian authorities who have had access to the refugees report that they began arriving in the Bedakoussang at the end of January following fighting in their villages in the Paoua area of the troubled northern Central African Republic. Others have been arriving periodically throughout February because of ongoing fighting in CAR.

If confirmed, their arrival would bring to more than 7,000 the number of CAR refugees who have arrived in southern Chad since the beginning of the year.

Chad is already hosting more than 46,000 CAR refugees in three sites in the south. Many of them began arriving in 2003. In addition, more than 200,000 Sudanese refugees from Darfur area in 12 refugee camps in the east.