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UN Refugee Agency Says Sudanese Continue to Cross Border into Chad

Insecurity continues to be a problem along the Chad / Sudan border, causing people to flee to both countries to find safe haven. In eastern Chad, the Gaga Camp is the main receiving area for new Sudanese arrivals. The camp is currently home to about 10-thousand refugees, about half its capacity.

Ginette Lebreton is a spokesperson for the UNHCR in Chad. She’s in the eastern town of Abeche. It’s about a three-hour drive from the Sudan border and the main office for the 12 refugee camps. She spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the effects of border insecurity:

“Since the beginning of January, UNHCR and our partners, we kept seeing on a daily basis between 100 and 150 Sudanese refugees, new refugees, coming in inland and wanting to go to a refugee camp. These are refugees who were either at the Chadian border, who had chosen to stay there for the past two years, they either had families at the border or they wanted to agriculture or they were hoping to have peace in their country and to return to Sudan. But for the past few months, tensions between Sudan and Chad [are] getting higher and they’re afraid of any attack. And they’re coming in to the camp. So at this point it’s more than 3,600 Sudanese refugees who have come to the camp of Gaga and the site is located may an hour drive east of Abeche.”

The UNHCR spokesperson says there are about 200,000 Sudanese in camps in Chad and that most are in good condition.

“They have water. They have food on a regular basis; the World Food program delivers on a regular basis, once a month…. In terms of sanitation, as well, it’s very well established…primary education in all of the camps as well. We have community services, health care services. It’s pretty well established.”