News / Africa

Migrants, Refugees Flee to Chad

Map of Chad, Africa
Map of Chad, Africa

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
Migrants and refugees are entering Chad from the north, east and south, as they flee violence and instability in neighboring countries. The International Organization for Migration is appealing for three and a half million dollars for emergency humanitarian assistance.


On Chad’s eastern border, migrants and refugees are escaping fighting in Sudan’s Darfur region. Two Arab tribes are battling for control of gold mines.

IOM Chief of Mission in Chad, Qasim Sufi, said the latest influx from Darfur began three weeks ago.

“There are more Chadians returning to Chad, who were doing some work in Sudan, than the refugees. So around 9,000 refugees and almost 17,000 Chadian migrants, who came back.”

They’re crossing into Chad at the Sahara Desert border town of Tissi.

“At the moment it’s very, very hot in this place. The temperature is around 45 (Celsius) and they have to walk for so many days before they reach a safe place along the border in Chad,” he said.

The latest arrivals are in addition to about 3,000 Chadian gold mine workers, who fled the fighting earlier. They crossed the border at the town of Adre.

On Chad’s northern border, about 1,600 Chadian migrants have arrived from Libya since February. Sufi said they crossed into the Borkou, Ennedi and Tibesti regions.

“We started to receive a group of migrants actually in very, very deplorable condition. They have nothing. And all are men. And it seems that these people are people that were in detention centers on the other side and now have been released and sent back home because they were told they don’t have the right documents.”

Sufi said that some were beyond help when they arrived.

“People are in very, very serious condition because we had several migrants who died upon their arrival or immediately left for the hospital,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the southern border with Central African Republic about 6,000 refugees have crossed into Chad. That follows the military advances of the Seleka rebels in CAR.

But Sufi warned that a much bigger problem may arise. He says there may be hundreds of thousands of Chadian migrant workers in CAR. If they decide to flee that country, it could create a huge humanitarian crisis.

“That will need a big effort from the international community to accompany the government of Chad to deal with it,” he said.

Sufi said that many of the migrants returning to Chad had been the breadwinners for their families. So, the loss of their jobs will create hardships for many people. He added there could be tension between the new arrivals and the host communities.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid