News / Africa

CAR Refugees in Chad Need Urgent Aid, Protection

FILE - A woman looks on as people on a truck gather their belongings during a road repatriation to Chad in the capital Bangui, January 22, 2014.FILE - A woman looks on as people on a truck gather their belongings during a road repatriation to Chad in the capital Bangui, January 22, 2014.
x
FILE - A woman looks on as people on a truck gather their belongings during a road repatriation to Chad in the capital Bangui, January 22, 2014.
FILE - A woman looks on as people on a truck gather their belongings during a road repatriation to Chad in the capital Bangui, January 22, 2014.
Anne Look
Chad is now home to more than 80,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR). Most of them are Muslims who have fled the recent violence in the CAR.  Aid agencies say these refugees urgently need food and shelter.  For some, particularly those living near the border, the threat of violence remains. 

Tens of thousands of civilians have crossed from the Central African Republic into southern Chad in the past three months.  Most of them are Muslims and many are of Chadian descent, even if their families have lived in the CAR for generations.

Many have crossed the border in convoys under the protection of the Chadian army.  Others have walked on their own.

They may have found refuge from the immediate threat of attack, but they are not finding much relief.

Many are sleeping in makeshift shelters near the border with little food.  Malaria is an ever-present threat and without proper sanitation, the risk of a waterborne illness like cholera is real.

The international aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, is providing assistance to refugees at sites in southern Chad and in the capital, N'Djamena.

MSF emergency coordinator, Foura Sassou Madi, spoke to VOA from Sido, a transit camp less than a kilometer from the border that is currently home to 13,000 people.

He said refugees are arriving in very precarious conditions in need of medical assistance, some of them after days of walking, some are so weak he doesn't how they made it.

Hunger is a primary concern.  MSF has treated dozens of children who have arrived in Chad with severe acute malnutrition.  Without rapid food assistance, the group said, things could quickly get much worse.

Madi said the U.N. World Food Program has carried out two targeted distributions at the Sido camp.

He said those food distributions have only reached about half the refugees, the most recent distribution on March 4 and 5 was for about 6,000 people.  He said their families were given one week's worth of food, so the problem is far from solved.   

The United Nations said it has only received about one-fifth of the $33 million needed to fund an emergency plan to help 150,000 people affected by the crisis in the CAR.

MSF said the Chadian government has exhausted its stocks of emergency medicines and other necessities.

Rights group Amnesty International said those displaced to Chad need protection as well as urgent humanitarian assistance.

Amnesty researcher Christian Mukosa just spent two weeks visiting refugee sites throughout Chad. He says many are still dangerously close to the border.

Mukosa said the border is porous and it is very easy to get back and forth.  He says they also spoke with many people who had fled the CAR only to find their aggressors at the same site in Chad.  He said he met one woman who told him the Seleka commander who had attacked her was now living in the same camp and she felt very unsafe.

Mukosa said Amnesty has alerted the authorities to these risks and has requested they move refugee sites further from the border.

Mukosa said ramping up security at refugee sites is essential to keep communal tensions and tit-for-tat revenge attacks that have been raging in the CAR from spilling into Chad.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More