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SUDAN-CHAD: Chadians sheltering in Darfur forced to move again
Refugees struggle for survival in the desert of north central Africa
DAKAR, 12 May 2006 (IRIN) - At least 13,000 people have fled from fighting in Chad into the volatile Darfur region of Sudan in recent weeks, and because of abductions and attacks some are being relocated even deeper into Western Darfur, aid agencies said on Friday.
As aid agencies struggle to feed more than 200,000 refugees who fled Darfur into Chad, Chadians themselves have been forced to leave their villages in the searing eastern desert after an escalation in fighting between the Chadian army and rebel groups earlier this year, according to the UNï¿½s refugee agency UNHCR.
UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis said in Geneva on Friday that an extra 7,000 people are reported to have fled into Darfur in recent weeks.
Following a spate of abductions and attacks, 1,500 Chadians a week will be moved from their informal camp at Habila, a border town 95 kilometres south of the West Darfur capital El Geneina, to a camp at Um Shalaya, 100 kilometres further east, according to the UN.
ï¿½The move will increase their security and improve their access to services as itï¿½s too dangerous for aid organisations to work properly along the border,ï¿½ said Daniel Neysmith at the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Sudan.
Attacks against Chadian refugees and abductions in the border areas are becoming increasingly frequent, the IOM said in a statement on Friday.
Aid workers in eastern Chad have been warning for weeks that the number of people there relying on international food handouts is tripling weekly, because of growing fighting and lawlessness, raids by armed militias, and dwindling food supplies in remote border towns.
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]