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Chad: Tine relocation registration of Sudanese complete

Briefing notes

Chad: Tine relocation registration of Sudanese complete

3 February 2004

UNHCR staff and their Chadian counterparts have completed registration of Sudanese refugees in and around the town of Tine in preparation for their urgent relocation to safer refugee sites away from the volatile border. Tine was bombed last Thursday and we are working hard to begin the relocation of the 4,357 refugees from Tine to sites near Iriba and Guéréda - possibly starting by the end of this week. The registration teams had been concentrating on registering the thousands of newly arrived refugees who fled in the wake of attacks on their villages in Sudan beginning on January 16. Following Thursday's bombing in Tine, the teams narrowed their focus to refugees in that specific area so we can get them out of there as quickly as possible. The refugees in Tine include new arrivals since January 16, as well as earlier ones who had fled Sudan last year.

Meanwhile, 5,194 refugees, most of them recent arrivals, have been registered in four sites between Birak and Tine. Registration will start today in the area of Birak village.

Further south along the affected stretch of the Chad-Sudan border, the site of Wandalou is now empty following the relocation of more than 1,000 refugees to Farchana camp further inland. We are now focusing our relocation efforts on a second site, Absogo, which is also very close to the border. So far 1,403 people have moved to Farchana from Wandalou and Absogo in convoys of 250-300 people every other day. We plan to increase the frequency of relocation convoys to daily starting tomorrow (Wednesday).

We are reinforcing our UNHCR teams in Chad to respond to the needs of the estimated 110,000 refugees scattered along the border with Sudan. Additional international staff are scheduled to arrive in eastern Chad in the next 48 hours and will be immediately deployed on the ground. Additional local staff have also been recruited and are starting work today in our office in Abéché.

UNHCR partners NCA (Norwegian Church Aid), as well as experts on water sanitation and site management from the German agency THW (Technisches Hilfswerk), arrived in eastern Chad over the weekend. NCA is being deployed in the region of Iriba and Adré. They will start work immediately on the transit centre in Touloum, near Iriba, where refugees from Tine will be relocated. TWH will be deployed in the south, in the region of Goz-Beida.

A UNHCR team travelled to Goz-Beida on Friday to evaluate potential relocation sites. They identified one site in Koukous, 6 km from Goz-Amer, which could hold up to 10,000 refugees and has accessible water supplies. Local authorities in the region advised that future camps be located more than 50 km from the border, noting that militia incursions into Chad can reach areas as far as 70 km inland. UNHCR is also looking into opening an office in Goz-Beida.