News / Africa

Conditions Worsen for Darfurian Refugees, Others

Map of Chad, Africa
Map of Chad, Africa

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
A medical aid group says conditions are getting worse for tens of thousands of people who’ve fled fighting in Sudan’s Darfur region. Refugees and others have been gathering for months in the Chadian town of Tissi.


Fighting in North Darfur State has been going on since January. Rival Arab tribes are battling over gold mining rights. Hundreds of people have been reported killed. Thousands have been displaced within Darfur and many others have crossed the border into Chad.

Doctors without Borders, also known by the French acronym MSF, has been providing medical care in and around Tissi since April.

MSF Head of Mission Jason Mills said about 55,000 people have fled violence in Darfur.

“They’re spread out into many different encampments around the area of 200 – 500 – 600 families – for the returnees, who are Chadians, who had previously fled to Darfur to seek aid 10 years ago. And then you have refugees – and there’s about 30,000 refugees – who have fled from Darfur into Chad  --about half of them living in a camp called Ab Gadam, 30 kilometers west of Tissi. And then there are also another 15,000 or so spread out north in the bush.”

Mills said it’s a logistical challenge to help all those in need – and the challenge will only become greater as the rainy season kicks in. The wadis and swamps will fill up and become impassable.

“We’ve pre-positioned a lot of materials in advance. Teams have been working hard over the last couple of months to get non-food item kits of plastic sheeting, jerry cans, utensils, things like this in place and get them distributed before the rains. To get latrines constructed in the camp and also in some of the returnee settlements,” he said.

MSF will also position its medical teams in different areas to give them better access during the rainy season. Also, the World Food Program is providing helicopter service to transport humanitarian workers.

The major health issues now include watery diarrhea, especially among children under age five, along with respiratory problems. And there are fears conditions are right for a possible cholera outbreak. In addition, Mills said that many have been victims of the fighting.
“Twenty four percent of all our admissions in the hospital in Tissi are related to violence. Just yesterday the fighting resumed seven kilometers east of Tissi inside Darfur. Yesterday we received 15 new wounded – mostly walking wounded, who were able to make it to the Tissi hospital. We’re very concerned about people who perhaps were not able to make it and who don’t have access to any services inside Darfur,” he said.

Doctors without Borders also reported rising levels of malnutrition among the refugees and returnees.

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