The refugees, mostly women, children and the elderly, fled their homes in villages near the border, following deadly clashes that began on April 3. The resurgence of violence is said to have left 144 dead and more than 230 injured. In the meantime, humanitarian agencies are trying to establish the exact number of newly displaced people in West Darfur, which is estimated at several thousand.
Refugees arriving in Chad speak of destroyed homes and properties and sites hosting displaced people who are targeted. Some of the new arrivals had already been displaced by earlier clashes last year and in January of this year.
El Geneina is just 20 kilometers from the Sudano-Chadian border. Refugees have crossed near the town of Adré in Ouaddai province and are currently hosted just 200 meters from the volatile border.
UNHCR teams from our neighboring office in Farchana rushed to receive refugees. Our staff report that conditions on the ground are dire, with displaced families remaining in the open or in the shade of trees or makeshift shelters, with barely any protection from the elements in an area where the temperature can rise to high. at 40 degrees Celsius during the day. Food and water are also urgently needed.
UNHCR, along with our government counterpart and our humanitarian partners, is on the ground coordinating the humanitarian response. The priority is to move the refugees to a safer place where essential assistance and access to health can be provided, and quarantine measures against COVID-19 implemented.
Ouaddai province, where the new arrivals are crossing, already hosts 145,000 refugees from Darfur and UNHCR expects the influx to continue if security is not quickly restored in Darfur.
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