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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid