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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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