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18,000 More Sudanese Refugees Flee Into Chad, Total Now More Than 100,000 - 2004-01-23


18,000 Sudanese refugees have crossed the border into eastern Chad this week. They’re fleeing fighting and attacks in the Darfur region of Sudan, which has been a conflict zone for nearly a year. That brings the estimated number of Sudanese refugees in the area to well over 100,000.

The UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, has set up a refugee camp in Farchana, about 55 kilometers from the border. Jennie Clark is a spokesperson for the UNHCR. From Geneva, she spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the latest influx of Sudanese refugees into Chad.

She says refugees interviewed by the UNHCR report attacks by Sudanese forces and villages burned. Today, a UNHCR team is going to “Andou, a village located between Waddi Sandi and Tine, to monitor the number of new arrivals there and assess the needs of the refugees.”

Ms. Clark says every other day about 300 refugees are being relocated to the Farchana camp, and that convoys may soon operate on a daily basis. So far, more than 600 people have been brought to Farchana, which will eventually house between up to 12,000 people. Another site, Kouloungo, near Guereda, has been approved as another relocation site. Other sites are being evaluated.

Click above links to download or listen to interview with UNHCR.

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