Southern Chad enjoys relative security despite influx of refugees

27 Jun 2008

Southern Chad enjoys relative security despite influx of refugees

N'Djamena, Chad – Security is prevailing in southern Chad despite an influx of refugees from neighboring Central African Republic, according to local authorities in Gore. "We do not have any insecurity problems here the way you will see it in eastern Chad.

What we need, is a little assistance to cope with the influx of refugees from Central African Republic," the Prefect of Gore told this Monday a UN delegation led by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Mission in Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), and including the Representatives of UNHCR, WFP and UNICEF. Road banditry continues, however, to be a major threat for the populations living in the South of the country.

UNHCR estimates (January 2008) put the total number of refugees in Chad at 296,579, of whom 52,807 are Central Africans while the remainder are Sudanese. Refugee populations in Chad are receiving humanitarian assistance from UN agencies as well as several NGOs.

The Special Representative, Victor Angelo, expressed satisfaction for the work of the humanitarian community as well as the local authorities, and said he was delighted that the security situation in the region is under control, then urged each one of them to continue their efforts. "I commend you for the good work that you are doing, and I assure you of all my support in order to reinforce your capacities in the security sector," he said.

According to UNHCR, there are two main challenges in southern Chad: "Promoting local integration and self-reliance for the old refugee caseload, and ensuring the provision of emergency assistance to newly arrived refugees."