In eastern Chad, the relocation of Sudanese refugees continues. About 110-thousand people have fled the Darfur region of Sudan in recent months to escape fighting between rebels and government troops and militias. Jennifer Clark is a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR. From Geneva, she spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about relocation efforts.
She says, “We have transferred, so far, more than 15,500 of the refugees to camps that we’re setting up further inside Chad. So, the operation is picking up speed quite well right now. Last Thursday, we had the largest single day of relocation, moving over 1300 in just one day to these camps.”
The UNHCR spokesperson says there are five camps currently operation in eastern Chad. “One of these,” she says, “is Touloum is actually at capacity with over 5,800 refugees until we can develop more water availability on that site. That one’s full, so we’ve actually been moving some people from that camp to some of the other four.” Refugees arriving by foot at Touloum are being transported to other camps where there is more room.
The UNHCR has also opened the first camp along the southern part of the border region. The new camp is named Goz Amer One and is located between Ade and Tissi.
Water continues to be a main concern and boreholes continue to be dug in various locations in hopes of digging new wells. The UNHCR says it’s important to get the camps well established before May when the rainy season arrives.
Click above links to download or listen to interview with Jennifer Clark.