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Sudanese teen drowned in eastern Chad ‘valley of death’

April 13 - 2022 GOZ AMER CAMP, CHAD
Sudanese refugees in Chad (File photo: UNHCR / Aristophane Ngargoune)
Sudanese refugees in Chad (File photo: UNHCR / Aristophane Ngargoune)

A 13-year-old Sudanese girl has drowned, her friend injured, and her sister narrowly escaped, after getting into difficulty in a river that runs past the Goz Amer camp near to the South Darfur border in eastern Chad, that refugees have dubbed ‘the valley of death’.

Refugees from Goz Amer told Radio Dabanga that Najwa Othman Khazen, her younger sister Hajja, and their friend Fatima Ahmed got into difficulty on Monday in a tributary of the swollen Wadi Azum river that passes near the camp which, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, hosts more than 25,000 refugees from Sudan.

Witnesses said that when the alarm was raised, rescuers retrieved all three girls from the river, however Najwa could not be saved. Hajja has no major injuries, however Fatima was transferred to the camp hospital as she had swallowed a lot of water.

Callers mentioned that there have been several drowning incidents in the valley, which has prompted the refugees to dub it ‘the valley of death’.

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