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Chad refugees in Darfur reject voluntary return

April 9 - 2017 UM SHALAYA
Um Shalaya in Central Darfur (UNHCR Sudan Operations, July 2008)
Um Shalaya in Central Darfur (UNHCR Sudan Operations, July 2008)

Refugees from Chad living in Azum in Central Darfur refuse to return voluntarily to Chad.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, the head of the Um Shalaya refugee camp in Azum reported that a delegation from the US embassy in Sudan visited the site on Friday.

“The community leaders at the camp told the delegation in a meeting that the lack of security and development in the areas of their origin withhold them from returning home,”he said.

People in eastern Chad fled their villages in 2005 and 2006, after Darfuri militiamen intruded into the region, following the Darfuri population fleeing to Chad. The militiamen began to attack the local population, and the attacks soon became common. Thousands of Chadians sought refuge in Darfur.

In 2006, the UN refugees agency UNHCR moved more than 3,000 Chadian refugees from the Chad-Sudan border to two new refugee camps, Um Shalaya and Mukjar, in what was then West Darfur.

In December 2013, Radio Dabanga reported that the 8,000 Chadian refugees in Um Shalaya refused to return to Chad, citing the lack of security, stability, services, and development as reasons. Their status as refugees in Sudan would officially end in January 2014.

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