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Chad: Central African Republic refugees still arriving

Briefing notes

Chad: Central African Republic refugees still arriving

6 September 2005

UNHCR has been advised by Chadian authorities that another 2,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) have arrived in southern Chad over the past two weeks. They are the latest new arrivals to flee continuing strife in northern CAR. UNHCR and Chadian officials tried yesterday to reach the reported new arrivals in the southern Chad area of Bekam, but were unable to do so because they were unable to cross a damaged bridge over a rain-swollen river. Another attempt is being planned.

Meanwhile, we are in urgent need of a new site for CAR refugees in southern Chad because Amboko camp, near the main town of Goré, will soon reach its capacity of 27,000. Relocation of another 4,000 earlier arrivals is continuing at Amboko. The 4,000, most of whom have now been transferred from the border to the Amboko area, are being housed in new tents at the camp as quickly as they can be erected. We briefly ran out of tents last week, but have now received another 522 from our stockpiles in Abéché, in eastern Chad.

In another development, we are also preparing to repatriate from northern CAR a total of 1,542 Chadian nationals who had fled to CAR in the early 1980s. In 2001, UNHCR conducted a repatriation operation for the Chadian refugees, but this group had opted to remain in CAR. Now, the continuing insecurity in the region is prompting them to request help in returning to Chad.

We are planning the first return convoy on Sept. 19.