Thousands find refuge in Chad to escape violence in Darfur

Refugee camp. Refugee camp. Photo by Claudiad on iStock.

13 April 2021

Over the past week, ongoing hostilities in West Darfur have forced thousands of people to seek refuge in neighbouring Chad.

The escalation of the conflict, which began on 3 April 2021, not only has resulted in hundreds of civilians killed and injured, but has also forced thousands of people, particularly women, children and the elderly, to flee towards the territories of neighbouring Chad. According to Babar Baloch, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), an estimated 1,860 refugees have reached Chad in the past week.

The Darfur region, in western Sudan, has for several years been the scene of a civil war that has killed around 300,000 people and displaced 2.5 million, according to UN figures. However, the violence continues, as one of the latest episodes has broken out between the Massalit tribes and the Arab tribes in the town of El Geneina, 20 kilometres from the border of the State of Chad. As a result, thousands of civilians have fled across the Sudanese border and found refuge in the province of Ouaddaï. The UNHCR denounced the terrible conditions in which displaced people in Chad are forced to live, in temporary or open-air shelters, with limited protection from adverse weather conditions and without any essential assistance.

UNHCR has called for security in the country to be restored as soon as possible, as the flow of displaced people into the Chad regions is expected to increase. The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) also urged the Sudanese authorities to take concrete measures to protect civilians without discrimination and to address the root causes of the conflict.


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Author: Francesca Mencuccini; Editor: Carla Leonetti

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