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UN Aid Chief In Chad Warns Of Regional ‘Disaster’

UN Aid Chief In Chad Warns Of Regional ‘Disaster’ Unless Darfur Problem Is Solved

The top United Nations aid official in Chad, which is home to hundreds of thousands of Sudanese who have fled the violence in neighbouring Darfur, warned today of a regional “humanitarian disaster” unless the two African Governments put their differences aside and work together to stop the escalating militia violence.

“What will happen in our view if the Darfur crisis is not resolved is that we will continue to have armed groups…operating in all the areas around the border, they may continue to weaken Government institutions and…make the life of the ordinary citizens almost impossible,” Kingsley Amaning, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Chad told reporters in New York.

If Sudan and Chad do not work together to find a more durable solution, he warned, “we will have a general deterioration of the stability in those areas and in the sub-region and that will create a humanitarian disaster.”

Mr. Amaning said that over 240,000 Sudanese refugees had fled to Chad because of the crisis in Darfur and these were being assisted in 12 camps despite difficulties associated with inhospitable terrain, overcrowding and especially insecurity.

“It’s obvious that the [Darfur] situation is bleak, it is not improving and that is causing us tremendous worry in Chad because there’s a clear linkage between what we’re doing in Chad, which is trying to save lives, [and this is] put in danger by the crisis in Darfur.”

He also warned that the “whole scenario” of militia groups attacking other groups in Darfur was now being repeated in Chad, and he blamed this on ethnicity as well as the “militarization of the region” which has allowed people to have easy access to weapons.

Mr. Amaning’s bleak assessment comes a day after the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland warned the Security Council that “a man-made catastrophe of an unprecedented scale” looms within weeks in Darfur unless something is done to halt the spiralling violence, looting and internal displacement.


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