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More Central Africans reported fleeing towards Chad

Briefing notes

More Central Africans reported fleeing towards Chad

30 September 2005

UNHCR remains very concerned about continuing unrest in northern areas of the Central African Republic (CAR), including a Tuesday attack on the town of Markounda by an unidentified armed group. We have received reports that between 1,000 and 3,000 residents of the town, which is about 50 km from the Chad border, may have fled Markounda and could be headed north toward the Chad border. We're deploying a UNHCR team based in Chad to the border tomorrow (Saturday) with Chadian government officials to check if there are any new influxes.

The unrest is also worrisome because of our ongoing repatriation operation bringing some 1,500 Chadian refugees back to their homeland from northern CAR. Our repatriation convoys are passing through some insecure territory, but they are escorted by CAR security forces to the Chad border. Another repatriation convoy left Bossangoa in northern CAR yesterday and should arrive in Goré, southern Chad tomorrow, bringing to about 1,000 the number of returnees so far brought home in the operation. The repatriation operation should be completed in early October.

Last week, Chadian authorities agreed on construction of a new refugee site at Gondjé, 6 km from our existing camp at Amboko, which is now full with 24,000 CAR refugees. There are already more than 40,000 refugees from CAR in southern Chad. Another 200,000 refugees from Darfur are hosted in the eastern part of Chad on the Sudan border.