Sudanese refugees in Chad refuse relocation

UNHCR staff with Sudanese refugees in Chad (File photo: © UNHCR / Colin Delfosse)

Darfuri refugees in Adré, eastern Chad, have voiced their disagreement with the Chadian authorities’ decision to relocate them away from residential areas, where they can find work.

A Sudanese refugee living in a camp in Adré told Radio Dabanga yesterday that she refuses to be moved to a new camp, 150 kilometres away, near Abéché, given its distance from residential areas.

“We generate income by seeking employment in neighbouring towns. Some of us work as housekeepers or security guards for example, because the aid we receive is insufficient“, she explained, adding that refugees receive small portions of food “which do not meet their needs”.

The refugee, who preferred to remain anonymous, spoke of a “tragic” lack of protection and security in camps for Sudanese refugees. “Most camp residents, of whom there are 140,000, are orphans, widows, and elderly people. Please relocate us closer to the cities and towns.”

Already in late November 2023, Chadian authorities, in cooperation with the UNHCR, facilitated the transfer of refugees from the Adré reception centre and other border areas to the refugee camps in the region. More recent waves of refugees, especially those with relatives already living in Milli refugee camp, moved directly to the camp grounds due to overcrowding at the border.

Gaga camp

Two Sudanese refugees in Gaga camp, eastern Chad, were attacked in separate incidents on Tuesday.

On Tuesday evening, two gunmen attacked shop owner Abdelrahman El Salem, 27, inside his shop in the Gaga camp market. According to a stringer for Radio Dabanga, the attackers first ordered a drink from El Salem’s shop. “Salem was serving them their drinks when they beat and stabbed him.” The gunmen stole El Salem’s phone, cash, and some of his belongings, leaving him lying inside the store. He was later treated by passers-by.

Also on Tuesday, unknown assailants attacked another Gaga camp resident and shop owner, identified as Osman Ruby. The gunmen stabbed and punched Ruby, stealing money and goods from his shop before escaping. Ruby was found lying on the ground in critical condition and received first aid at the camp’s health centre.

Last year, a Sudanese farmer was gunned down by unknown assailants in Gaga camp.