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UN Relocates Nearly 90,000 Sudanese Refugees

UN Relocates Nearly 90,000 Sudanese Refugees To Camps Away From Chad Border

Almost 90,000 refugees fleeing the war-torn Darfur region in western Sudan for Chad have been successfully moved into one of eight United Nations camps away from the dangerous border as the rainy season starts to set in.

Officials from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees which has organized the transfer, said they are rushing to move another 15,000 people to the camp at Djabal, which opened last week.

UNHCR staff are searching for a second campsite close to the existing camp at Breidjing after about 5,000 refugees arrived there last week unannounced. That camp already has 7,809 registered refugees and is close to capacity.

UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) estimate at least 150,000 Sudanese have fled their homeland for neighbouring Chad since early last year, when fighting first broke out in Darfur between the Sudanese Government and two rebel groups.

Many of the people said they were escaping attacks by Janjaweed militias, bands of Arab fighters recruited and armed by the Khartoum Government in its fight against rebel forces. A UN human rights report has found that the Janjaweed have committed numerous atrocities, including murders, rapes, and the ransacking and destruction of villages.

UNHCR staff have been anxious to move as many refugees as possible to camps away from the border – where militias have been making cross-border raids – before the rainy season makes many roads impassable.

The World Food Programme has also provided rations of sorghum, oil and beans over the past week to refugees living in the northern section of the Chadian-Sudanese border zone.

UNHCR is also arranging the airlift of emergency supplies, such as blankets, kitchen sets, tents and personal hygiene items, over the next week.

© Scoop Media

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