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Chad: nearly 90,000 Sudanese now moved away from border

Briefing notes

Chad: nearly 90,000 Sudanese now moved away from border

8 June 2004

Nearly 90,000 Sudanese refugees have now been moved into our eight camps away from the Chad-Sudan border.

In the southernmost part of the border zone where the rainy season has already set in, we have completed the transfer of refugees from Tissi to camps and have moved our logistics operation further north up to Ade. We are now rushing to move the estimated 15,000 refugees in the Ade region to the new camp at Djabal which we opened last week.

Further north, we are looking for an additional camp site near the existing camp of Breidjing, after hundreds of refugees arrived by their own means at the camp last week.

At first, the refugees told UNHCR they came directly to the camp from Darfur after fleeing militia attacks inside Sudan. However, we found out later these refugees had crossed over to Chad months ago and had temporarily settled at the border on the Chadian side. Last week, frightened by repeated shooting on the Darfur side of the border, they decided to walk to the camp, fearing possible cross-border militia attacks into Chad.

Breidjing now has 7,809 officially registered refugees and an additional estimated 5,000 refugees who arrived on their own at the site. This means we need either to expand the site if enough water can be found, or set up a new camp in the area.

At the northernmost section of the border zone at Bahai and Cariari a food distribution for more than 27,500 refugees took place last week. This is the third distribution in the Bahai area. The refugees received 15-day rations of sorghum, oil and beans provided by the World Food Programme and distributed by our partner CARE.

We are working with the Chadian government agency CNAR (Commission nationale d'Accueil et de réinsertion des Réfugiés) and in close collaboration with the International Rescue Committee, to conduct a new pre-registration of the refugees in Bahai and Cariari in order to get more accurate figures. Hundreds of newly-arrived refugees have crossed over to Chad each week for the past two months following attacks on their villages in early April.

Tomorrow, we will begin the last segment of our emergency airlift with a series of seven flights starting from Tanzania. An Ilyushin-76 plane will bring in 84,000 blankets, 8,000 kitchen sets, 16,000 jerry cans, plastic sheeting and personal hygiene items. Two more flights with tents from Pakistan will arrive in N'Djamena, Chad today and the last two of the nine Pakistan flights are scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday. Two flights from Denmark and Germany have already been completed.