In eastern Chad, the full extent of this week’s attacks on villages by hundreds of armed men is becoming much clearer.
Helene Caux, a spokesperson for the UNHCR, is currently traveling in eastern Chad to learn the extent of the killings and damage done in areas to the southwest and southeast of Goz Beda. She spoke by satellite phone to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about what she’s seen so far.
“I was in Djorlo village on Wednesday and the village had just been burned the day before. And it was really a horrendous picture, which reminded us of what has been happening in Darfur. It was exactly the same thing. The village has been burned down to the ground…and you still had survivors wandering around in the village. The men and the boys had bows and arrows with them. Some of them had swords. And the women and the children were sheltering from the sun under the small remaining huts in the village,” she says.
Some of the survivors told the UNHCR about the attack, saying it started at 6 am Tuesday and continued for about three hours. Some 200 armed men attacked Djorlo, with some firing into the village from surrounding trees. The attackers, many on horseback, were described as being from “Arab tribes” and wearing military uniforms and carrying AK-47s.
Caux says, “There were 36 people who were killed in this village, 22 wounded. The wounded have started to arrive in Goz Beda hospital. Goz Beda is the main city in southeastern Chad. But there were other villages, which have been attacked in the area, further away from Goz Beda. And we hear that there are still wounded people there. They have no means of transportation to go to the hospital.”
She adds, “We hear that the attacks are still going on.”