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Assistant High Commissioner travels to Chad

Briefing notes

Assistant High Commissioner travels to Chad

12 December 2003

UN Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees Kamel Morjane is scheduled to begin tomorrow (Dec. 13) a six-day visit to Chad and the Central African Republic to review UNHCR's operations in both countries.

His first stop is expected to be in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, where he is scheduled to meet with the President, Gen. François Bozizé. In his meetings with the CAR leader, Mr. Morjane will likely urge the government to do more to stabilise the northern part of the country. This would pave the way for the return of more than 40,000 CAR refugees who fled to Chad early this year to escape conflict in the north. The Assistant High Commissioner will also visit refugee camps hosting Congolese (DRC) refugees, some of whom have registered to return home. CAR is currently hosting 50,700 refugees, mainly from Sudan (36,700), the DRC (10,400), Chad (1,880), Burundi (65) and Rwanda (265).

Mr. Morjane leaves Bangui on Monday (Dec. 15) for the Chadian capital, N'Djamena - the second leg of his visit. Mr. Morjane, who oversees UNHCR's worldwide assistance operations, is scheduled to meet President Idriss Deby on Tuesday. He will travel to refugee camps in the east, where there are more than 75,000 Sudanese refugees who have fled escalating conflict in the Darfur region of Western Sudan. UNHCR is concerned about security along Chad's eastern border with Sudan, a region sheltering more than 75,000 Sudanese refugees who began fleeing to Chad in April this year to escape the spiralling conflict in the Darfur region. We plan to begin re-locating the Sudanese refugees from the volatile border region to sites deeper inside Chad in the next few weeks.

The Assistant High Commissioner also plans to travel to Goré, southern Chad, on Wednesday to visit one of three camps hosting the Central African refugees. Other refugee camps in this region are located in Danamadji and Maro. In total, there are more than 40,000 CAR refugees in southern Chad.