SUDAN WATCH: Hundreds of Sudanese flee upsurge of violence in West Darfur after unidentified armed men attacked the town of Guereda - UN Refugee Agency

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hundreds of Sudanese flee upsurge of violence in West Darfur after unidentified armed men attacked the town of Guereda - UN Refugee Agency

Almost 800 Sudanese have fled to eastern Chad to escape increased violence in West Darfur, the UN refugee agency said yesterday. Excerpt from Press Release - UN News Center via Harold Doan and Associates UK, Jan 24 2006:
Ron Redmond, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said the Sudanese are receiving help in Gaga camp, which currently holds around 6,600 people.

There are more than 200,000 refugees from strife-torn Darfur in camps in eastern Chad and Mr. Redmond said the security situation had deteriorated in West Darfur in recent months, involving both the Janjaweed militia and "a recent rise of tensions between Chad and Sudan."

Gaga is the newest of 12 UNHCR camps in eastern Chad and many of the new arrivals say they travelled at night, riding donkeys to reach the camp, or else walked for days to find safety.

Mr. Redmond said that because of the worsening security situation in West Darfur, the Geneva-based agency had reduced the number of aid workers operating in the area and, as announced at the weekend, security concerns had also forced the UNHCR to reduce staff numbers in eastern Chad.

The weekend announcement came after unidentified armed men attacked the town of Guereda and abducted five government officials last Friday. While expressing concern for their safety, UNHCR calls for the immediate release of those detained, Mr. Redmond said today.

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