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Africa

2004-02-04

AFRICA/CHAD - SUDANESE MILITIA PUSH AS FAR AS 70 KM INTO CHAD CHASING REFUGEES FROM VIOLENCE IN WEST SUDAN

Rome (Fides Service) - the situation of Sudanese refugees in Chad is ever more dramatic. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees UNHCR says there are more than 110,000 refugees along the border with Sudan. UNHCR is sending more humanitarian aid and workers to the area and has already recruited a number of operators who have commenced work at Abeche in eastern Chad.
UNHCR has completed the registration of Sudanese refugees in the city of Tine on the border between the two countries and it hopes as soon as possible to begin moving them to safer sites. In recent weeks Tine was in fact bombed several times. UNHCR hopes to move 4,357 refugees within the week.
Another 5,194 people who reached Chad in the past few days have been registered at four collection camps not far from Birak and Tine. There are two other camps further south, Wandalou now empty after 1,000 refugees were moved to Farachana camp further towards the interior, and Absongo where the people are still being moved. So far 1,403 people have been moved in convoys carrying 250-300 at a time to Farachana from Wandalou and Absongo.
A UNHCR team scouted the Goz-Beida area to identify possible camp sites. According to UNHCR Chad authorities say camps should be more than 50 km from the border because Sudanese militia push as far as 70 km into Chad’s territory.(L.M.) (Fides Service 4/2/2004, lines 25 words 295)

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