Monday, July 26, 2004

Sudanese refugees flood into Chad

Thousands of refugees have fled Sudan's troubled region.

Aid agencies in Chad are bracing for the arrival of more refugees from Sudan's devastated Darfur region.

The United Nations estimates that up to 200,000 refugees have already crossed into Chad from Sudan and fears that as many again are on their way.

Many of the refugee camps are overcrowded, with some families living in makeshift shelters in the bush.

Aid workers are trying to reach all the people in need before the peak of the wet season and trucks are being used to take stranded refugees to camps along the border.

The civilians have fled their homes in Sudan's western Darfur region because of attacks by militias loyal to the Government.

Rebel groups are refusing to take part in peace talks until the militia groups are disarmed.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is now using satellite technology to try to find water for the stranded families.

Jane Bean from Oxfam says aid groups are struggling to provide help.

"The level of violence has been so extreme that people have just fled across into Chad and there is really nothing to offer," Ms Bean said.

By Sally Sara 26 July 04


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