Sudan UN refugee agency opens fourth safe camp inside neighbouring Chad

Some 367 refugees were transferred to a camp at Iridimi at the weekend, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesman Kris Janowski told reporters today in Geneva.Iridimi’s first arrivals mean almost 13,000 refugees have now been transferred to four camps – the others are living at camps in Touloum, Farchana and Kounoungo.The camps were set up by UNHCR and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) well away from the Chad-Sudan border, where an estimated 110,000 refugees have been staying since fleeing Sudan. Sudanese militias had been attacking the border shelters, prompting the UN to find safer sites.Mr. Janowski said a fifth camp, at Goz Amer, should start accepting refugees from the border zone soon. It will be the first camp within its region of eastern Chad, which is next to Darfur.UNHCR, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the NGO known as CARE and Chad’s national refugee agency distributed aid to 6,000 Sudanese refugees in the border town of Bahai over the weekend, he said.Many of the refugees there had already used up their savings and food supplies and had been relying on food donations from local Chadians and on doing small jobs in return for money to buy food, according to UNHCR.Fighting between the Sudanese Government, local militia and rebel groups, including the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), since March last year has driven thousands of people from Darfur and internally displaced another 700,000 people in Sudan, which has a total of 3 million to 4 million displaced throughout the country largely as a result of its 20-year civil war. read more