Sudanese in Chad must be moved as security breaches multiply UN urges

“The refugees started fleeing the Darfur region of western Sudan in April when fighting broke out between the Khartoum Government and the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM),” the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement. “A ceasefire deal was reached between the warring factions on 4 September and was supposed to last 40 days. Both sides have accused the other of breaching the truce.”As the UNHCR emergency team visited refugees in border sites, it heard reports about security incidents, the agency said. Landmines had injured two children in one area. Cross-border raiders had stolen livestock at points in Chad that refugees said were as far as 40 kilometres from the border. And fighters from the military wing of the SLM were seen stocking up on supplies in Tine, a town that straddles the border.”Tine and surrounding areas have one of the highest refugee concentrations, with an estimated 28,000 new refugees. UNHCR has, however, been unable to verify numbers as the refugees continue to be mobile and scattered across vast areas, often mixed with the local population,” the agency said. Some refugees from farming areas were taking casual work from host communities, it added.The Chadian Government had deployed military personnel to protect some refugee settlements and the UNHCR team was only able to travel to some refugee sites with a military escort, it said.Meanwhile, UNHCR had identified locations that could be developed as communal kitchens where its partners could prepare food for small children, pregnant women, the sick and the elderly and also as sites for the distribution of supplies to other refugees.The team was looking for locations for new refugees that would have accessible water even when the dry spell started and the riverbeds dried up, UNHCR said.