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UNHCR assesses needs of 65,000 recent Sudanese arrivals in Chad

UNHCR assesses needs of 65,000 recent Sudanese arrivals in Chad

The UN refugee agency has joined an assessment mission to eastern Chad, where some 65,000 Sudanese refugees have arrived since April after fleeing fighting in north-eastern Sudan, the country's last battlefront.
2 September 2003

NDJAMENA, Chad, Sept 2 (UNHCR) - The UN refugee agency has joined a mission to eastern Chad to assess the needs of some 65,000 Sudanese refugees who have arrived in recent months after fleeing fighting at home.

UNHCR staff, together with two members of the Chadian Parliament and an official of the UN World Food Programme, are currently on an assessment mission to Abéché and Adré near Chad's border with Sudan. Some 65,000 Sudanese have reportedly arrived in this area since April, displaced by an ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of north-western Sudan.

The Darfur region is Sudan's last battlefront. In the south, a truce is holding and peace talks are ongoing between the Khartoum government and the southern rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).

In Northern Darfur state, Khartoum government troops were last Friday accused by another rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), of killing 46 civilians and destroying scores of villages. The government has denied these allegations.

Meanwhile, Sudanese refugees arriving in Chad say they were targeted by gunfire from airplanes. Heavy rains have hampered their escape from the fighting, and many refugees are suffering from pneumonia and similar ailments. In Chad, many of them have found refuge with the local community, who are from the same ethnic group.