Violence in Sudan’s Darfur forces thousands to flee.
From late December 2019 to January 2020, clashes between rival communities in El Geneina, in Sudan’s West Darfur State, forced over 16,000 refugees to cross into neighboring Chad. The majority of them are women and children. They arrived exhausted, traumatized and often with signs of malnutrition. Following an alert by authorities in eastern Chad, a joint mission comprising UNHCR, the World Food Programme (WFP), the Chadian national asylum authority CNARR (Commission Nationale pour l'Accueil et la Réinsertion des Réfugiés et des Rapatriés) and the Governor of the Ouaddai province was conducted along the border area to monitor the situation and meet the new arrivals. A rapid assessment of the refugee population revealed that it was composed mainly of women, children and elderly persons in acute need of assistance, including health services, water and sanitation, shelter and core relief items. Accordingly, UNHCR, together with the local authorities and partners, identified a new site in Kouchaguine-Moura, and works started immediately to prepare it to receive the refugees. As of 18 May 2020, 14,938 individuals (4,337 households) have been pre-registered. The situation in Sudan remains volatile and unpredictable. UNHCR maintains close cross-border and protection monitoring. On 17 May 2020, reports were received of the arrival in Chad of some 1,600 individuals following an incident in West Darfur, in which three villages were burnt by Janjaweed militia on 16 May. The situation is being assessed at the border for urgent support.
Measures in connection with the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Government of Chad has put in place several risk-mitigation measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Among other measures, Chad’s borders with Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR) were closed. Similarly, the international airport in N’Djamena remains closed for commercial flights. The same measures are extended to the main border entry points in all of Chad’s provinces. Although the suspension of flights is limited to commercial flights and does not extend to cargo, it is feared that global movement restrictions may affect the flow of supplies into Chad. Schools, universities, restaurants, cafes, and many other public placed remain closed and meetings or mass gatherings of more than 50 people remain prohibited.
Source: Relief Web