SUDAN-CHAD: Thousands more displaced in Chad, government says
NDJAMENA, 3 April 2007 (IRIN) - The Chadian government has accused Sudanese janjawid militiamen of attacking two villages in eastern Chad, killing 29 people.
“Today there are between 6,000 and 8,000 more people who are exposed without shelter and who have completely lost everything,” government spokesman Hourmadji Moussa Doumgor told reporters on Monday. “The intervention of security forces managed to push back the assailants.”
The United Nations says at least 140,000 displaced Chadians and 235,000 Sudanese refugees are now sheltering in the barren eastern deserts of Chad, while emergency relief NGOs and United Nations agencies are struggling to support them because of ongoing fighting and attacks on them.
Human rights groups and the UN blame a complex and barely understood inter-ethnic war as well as attacks from the janjawid militia in Sudan’s Darfur region for the violence. The latest attack occurred on Saturday in the villages of Tiero and Marena in the Wadi Fira region, Doumgor said. He said janjawid militiamen burned the villages and killed 29 civilians.
“The search continues to clear the zone of all the armed adventurers. The government reiterates its appeal to international community to intervene in a matter most energetic in Darfur to impose peace and stop the militias who come to sow death and desolation among the peaceful Chadian civilians,” Doumgor said.
The UN Security Council last month voted to send a peacekeeping mission to Chad to protect civilians and guard the border until fighting is stopped. The UN mission was almost immediately stalled when Chad’s government said it would not accept any military presence on its soil, only civilian police.
John Holmes, the UN emergency relief coordinator, warned last week that the international community is dragging its feet on funding for humanitarian operations in Chad and is “underestimating” the scale of the crisis there.
He said donors have so far only paid US $40 million of the $173 million needed to keep food, water and shelter supplied in eastern Chad.
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