Chad Braces for Influx of Refugees Escaping ‘Incredible Violence’ in Sudan

Afaf Fahchouch
Afaf Fahchouch
2 Min Read

Chad is preparing for a significant influx of refugees fleeing the ongoing conflict in Sudan, as the situation shows no signs of resolution. According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, over 170,000 people have already crossed the Chadian border from Sudan since April. UNHCR’s Representative in Chad, Laura Lo Castro, expressed concerns that the number will continue to rise in the coming weeks and months.

Lo Castro, who regularly visits refugee camps at the Sudanese border from the capital Ndjamena, described the recent arrivals as people fleeing “incredible violence.” Initially, the majority were women and children whose homes had been destroyed in the fighting. However, after the killing of the governor of West Darfur in mid-June, a significant number of additional refugees, including men from the Masalit tribes, reported being systematically targeted and sought refuge in Chad.

The city of El Geneina in West Darfur has witnessed some of the most severe violence against civilians. The limited humanitarian assistance that has reached Sudanese refugees in Chad since May has strained local resources. In AdrĂ©, a town near the border, conditions have become akin to those of a makeshift refugee camp. Food scarcity in local markets has become a pressing concern, despite the government’s efforts to assist. Laura Lo Castro highlighted the precarious state of the area, stating that it is reaching its breaking point.

To address the crisis, the priority for UNHCR is to establish three designated camps within Chad to accommodate the refugees safely. This would enable UN agencies to provide better facilities and support for the refugees as they settle. UNHCR aims to open the new camps by Sunday, July 9, but the agency has faced significant funding challenges. Despite international donors pledging funds through an emergency UN appeal, only a small percentage of the promised funds has reached UNHCR thus far, impeding their response efforts.

Afaf al Fahchouch

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