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Up To 12,000 Darfur Refugees Flee To Chad

From a deeply concerned Associated Press:

UN: 12,000 flee Darfur for Chad

By BRADLEY S. KLAPPER, Associated Press Writer

GENEVA – Up to 12,000 “terrified” refugees from Sudan’s Darfur region have fled across the border to neighboring Chad after the latest air strikes by the Sudanese military and thousands more may be on their way, the U.N. refugee agency said Sunday.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said it was scrambling to rush aid to Darfur refugees who are escaping bombings Friday of the West Darfur towns of Sirba, Sileia and Abu Suruj.

About half of the refugees are in the Chad border city of Koruk and “are feeling terrified,” said UNHCR spokeswoman Helene Caux.

“The city is in a very volatile area and there are a lot of armed men there,” Caux told The Associated Press. “Their villages (in Sudan) have been looted and burned, they are telling the UNHCR team. And they say their villages are encircled by militias.”

Most of the refugees so far are men, she said. But the arrivals are telling UNHCR that “thousands of women and children are on their way” to Chad, she added…

U.N. officials say the worsening situation in Darfur has been exacerbated by a recent rebel attack on the capital of neighboring Chad. Chad has accused Sudan of backing those rebels in a bid to prevent deployment of European peacekeepers in an area of Chad where some 400,000 refugees are living.

Sudan’s Arab-dominated government has been accused of unleashing janjaweed forces to commit atrocities against Darfur’s ethnic African communities in the fight with rebel groups. At least 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced since the violence began five years ago.

Caux said refugees are reporting that their villages were attacked by men on horses and camels, a description similar to those provided of earlier incidents involving the janjaweed…

Things must be pretty bad in Darfu for people to be fleeing into Chad, a country that is in the midst of its own civil war.

Luckily the United Nations is on the job and has everything under control.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, February 10th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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