---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Eric Reeves" <eree...@smith.edu>
Date: 9 Aug 2017 01:32
Subject: Darfuri Refugees in Eastern Chad: The Most Invisible Casualties of
the Darfur Genocide
To: "Eric Reeves" <eree...@smith.edu>
Cc:

*Darfuri Refugees in Eastern Chad: The Most Invisible Casualties of the
Darfur Genocide*

Eric Reeves     |   August 8, 2017   |   http://wp.me/p45rOG-25G

African/non-Arab refugees from violence in Darfur began to flee to eastern
Chad well before the date conventionally used to mark the outbreak of
large-scale violence in Darfur itself, February 2003—fourteen and a half
years ago. The Massalit in particular were victims of brutal attacks by
Khartoum-sanctioned militias in the 1990s, and they have suffered
particularly severe and concentrated human destruction and displacement.
This is true even within the ghastly context of Khartoum’s genocidal
counter-insurgency in Darfur, beginning in earnest following the successful
rebel attack on the El Fasher airbase in April 2003.

Hundreds of thousands of African/non-Arab Darfuris remain trapped as
refugees in twelve main camps in eastern Chad, unable to return because of
the massive insecurity that continues to prevail in most of
Darfur—insecurity that will only increase with the severe reductions
in the *UN/African
Union “hybrid” Mission in Darfur (UNAMID*). On J*une 30, 2017* the *UN
Security Council* renewed the mandate for UNAMID, but—at Khartoum’s
behest—*reduced
the military presence in Darfur by 44 percent* and the *police presence by
more than 30 percent.*

Perhaps, then, it should not be surprising that *Sudan Tribune* today
reports the following:

*• Sudanese refugees say they want to settle in Chad | *August 7, 2017
(KHARTOUM) | http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article63192

Over 500 Sudanese from West Darfur state who have recently moved into
eastern Chad told *the UN refugee agency they have no intention to return
to their homeland. *In an update on the refugee situation in Chad released
on 7 August, the UNCHR Chad said some 112 families, 512 people have arrived
the village of Katarfa in eastern Chad on Saturday 29th July 2017. The
Sudanese refugees, "mainly women and children are from the Massalit ethnic
group, told the UN aid workers they fled their village, Terbebe or Terbiba
near the border with Chad, following a surge of violence after a clash
between a Massalit farmer and a cattle herder.

In a report about the refugees in Chad released on 31 July, *the UNHCR says
there are 319,512 Sudanese refugees generally residing in 12 camps in the
eastern part of the country since 2003.*

Perhaps of note, the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
“Factsheet” of *May
2017* (https://data2.unhcr.org/en/documents/download/56878/
<https://data2.unhcr.org/en/documents/download/56878%20/>) gives a figure
of *317,219 Darfuri refugees—more than 2,000 fewer* than the *July 31,
2017* report
cited by *Sudan Tribune*. And given the substance of the *Sudan
Tribune *report,
an increase in the number of Darfuri refugees is a distinct possibility.

Indeed, so low a priority have Darfuri refugees been in eastern Chad, that
it seems important to note first of all how rare reporting is of any kind.
And what reporting there is seems not to figure in the accounts rendered by
UNHCR, which often ignore the intense resistance of these refugees to any
thought of returning voluntarily to Darfur:

*• Refugees in eastern Chad refuse to return to Darfur | *Radio Dabanga |
November 1, 2015 | EASTERN CHAD | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/refugees-in-eastern-chad-refuse-to-return-to-darfur

*The Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad categorically refuse to join the
voluntary repatriation programme in the current insecure climate.* The
refugees set the restoration of the rule of law, disarmament of the
militias, prosecution of the perpetrators of war crimes, and compensation,
as conditions for their voluntary return. *A delegation of the UN refugee
agency (UNHCR) and a representative of the Chadian government, held a
meeting with refugee leaders in the Djabal camp on Tuesday concerning the
voluntary repatriation programme, as agreed between the UNHCR and the
Sudanese and Chadian authorities in September. “They told us that a
Sudanese delegation will visit the camps in November to prepare for the
return of the refugees,” *El Zein Mohamed Ahmed, Radio Dabanga
correspondent in eastern Chad reported.

*“The refugee elders and sheikhs asserted their categorical rejection of
the voluntary repatriation programme while the situation in most parts of
Darfur is still extremely unsafe and insecure,” he said. *“They told them
the refugees will not welcome any delegation from the Khartoum regime,
which is the main cause of their suffering.”

A similar account could be found in a report from the independent *UN
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)* several years earlier:

*• Darfur’s Forgotten Refugees | *IRIN | GOZ BEIDA, 10 August 2012

*Ten years after fleeing violence in the Sudanese region of Darfur, Abdulla
Juma Abubakr has no intention of returning home. *After leaving the West
Darfur town of El-Geneina in 2002, he first spent two years in a border
camp inside Sudan, before moving on to Djabal, a refugee camp in eastern
Chad’s Goz-Beida region*. “From what I saw when we left, the way people
were killed, mosques burnt… I can’t imagine going back,” Abubakr, a refugee
leader at the camp, told IRIN.* “I know that other people are going back
but I can’t go back. I still have some family members in Darfur but I can’t
be sure of my security if I return.”

Many of the camp’s 18,000 refugees, most of them from Darfur, are also
reluctant to return home. “The Darfur refugees have put many conditions
towards return - security and recovery of property and land and other
things,” Aminata Gueye, the representative of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
in Chad, told IRIN.

“We were working on a tripartite mechanism with respect to possible
repatriation, but as long as the situation is not good they will not
return. *We were hoping in 2013 to facilitate the returns of some refugees,
mainly the Masaliet.” The Masaliet are a non-Arab ethnic group found in
parts of Sudan and Chad.*

Reporting on Darfuri refugees has been made more difficult by the fact that
UNHCR has not regularly provided a current total for refugees, and the
number used in what reporting there is on the refugee crisis has offered
very substantially varying figures. A timeline of figures as reported by
UNHCR and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs over
the past decade appears here as *APPENDIX A*; it is quite possible that the
present figure is considerably higher than UNHCR indicates because of
significant limitations in survey tools. Disgracefully in Darfur itself, UN
OCHA has been deeply irresponsible in its promulgation of figures for
displacement since the tenure of *Georg Charpentier (UN Resident and
Humanitarian Coordinator for Darfur, 2009 – 2011)*. The problems have
persisted: see *“Displacement in Sudan and Darfur: UN figures continue to
be careless, corrupt, or inadequate”* | May 22, 2017 |
http://wp.me/p45rOG-23o.

I have myself written regularly about the refugee situation in eastern Chad
for more than a decade, trying to highlight the plight of these invisible
people. Exactly one year ago I attempted ask about the number of refugees
in Chad, given the challenges posed by UNHCR refusals to be consistently
forthcoming:

*• "How Many Refugees in Chad?"  | *(August 9, 2016 |
http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Vw/)

In late April of this year [2016] I published "Invisible, Forgotten, and
Suffering: Darfuri Refugees in Eastern Chad," (*Sudan Tribune, **April 28,
2016** | *http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article58797/). The piece
drew a sharply critical response from *UN High Commission for Refugee
officials in Chad*, although they addressed few of the issues I raised in
my piece. One issue, however, was clarified in the email exchange between
me and these *UNHCR* officials (emails: April 29 – April 30, 2016): the
number of Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad as of the time, according to
UNHCR, was *302,000*—well below the figure of *380,000* that UNHCR had
promulgated just a year earlier (see below).

[This analysis was a follow-up to: “*Darfuri Refugees in Eastern Chad:
Among the world's most forgotten people” *(18 July 2014 |
http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article587/]

Notably, neither UNHCR figure—*302,000 *or *380,000*—corresponds with the
present figure of “*319,512.” *If we assume that *“302,000” *was the
correct figure in April 2016, this means that the Darfur refugee population
in Darfur has increased by more than *17,000*—a much greater figure than
the recent increase of *“500 people” *reported by *Sudan Tribune*.

This sort of large fluctuation has unfortunately been the norm for UNHCR, a
significant problem, given the ways in which humanitarian resources are
allocated on the basis of the size of an affected population. Reports of
failures to deliver food, of food shortages, lack of sheltering material,
lack of medical care (and especially treatment for girls and women who have
been victims of sexual violence), educational shortcomings—all have been
constants, though almost never reported except by Radio Dabanga and *Sudan
Tribune*. The report from IRIN in 2012 is a notable exception.
*Genocide in Darfur Spreads to Eastern Chad*

In *2005 – 2006* the ethnically-targeted violence in Darfur began to spill
into eastern Chad in a way that posed serious threats to the refugee
population—a development chronicled by Human Rights Watch and others:

*• "Darfur Bleeds: Recent Cross-Border Violence in Chad"* | February 21,
2006 | http://pantheon.hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/africa/chad0206/

Summary

The crisis in Darfur, Sudan, which has been trickling into Chad for the
better part of three years, is now bleeding freely across the border. A
counterinsurgency carried out by the Sudanese government and its militias
against rebel groups in Darfur, characterized by war crimes and “ethnic
cleansing,” has forcibly displaced almost two million civilians in Darfur
and another 220,000 people who have fled across the border into Chad. The
same ethnic “Janjaweed” militias that have committed systematic abuses in
Darfur have staged cross-border raids into Chad, attacking Darfurian
refugees and Chadian villagers alike, seizing their livestock and killing
those who resist.

The government of Sudan is actively exporting the Darfur crisis to its
neighbor by providing material support to Janjaweed militias and by failing
to disarm or control them, by backing Chadian rebel groups that it allows
to operate from bases in Darfur, and by deploying its own armed forces
across the border into Chad.

Other publications from *Human Rights Watch* and *Amnesty International*
 followed:

*• Chad/Sudan: Sowing the Seeds of Darfur: Ethnic Targeting in Chad by
Janjawid Militias from Sudan* | Amnesty International, 27 June 2006, Index
number: AFR 20/006/2006 | https://www.amnesty.org/en/d
ocuments/afr20/006/2006/en/

The Janjawid have now extended their activities Sudan's Darfur region into
eastern Chad. There, they have targeted a diverse range of ethnic groups
who identify themselves and are identified by others as "African" rather
than "Arab." The Janjawid have stolen the cattle that are their main source
of wealth, driven them from their homes and villages, and killed or
dispersed their inhabitants. Urgent action is required by the UN, the
African Union (AU) and particularly the two governments involved if this
new, emerging crisis is to be forestalled in eastern Chad.

*• “Violence beyond borders: The human rights crisis in eastern Chad”* |
Human Rights Watch, 22 June 2006 | http://reliefweb.int/report/
chad/violence-beyond-borders-human-rights-crisis-eastern-chad

I published my own assessment in the *Boston Globe *on April 26, 2006 (*“The
Looming Chaos in Chad”*), assessing the political impact of Chadian rebel
movements and the response of Chad’s brutally expedient president, Idriss
Déby (http://archive.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped
/articles/2006/04/26/the_looming_chaos_in_chad/
<http://archive.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/04/26/the_looming_chaos_in_chad//>
)

A much more recent and very moving account comes Alex Neve, Secretary
General, Amnesty International Canada:

*• “‘It always feels like something is about to explode’: Tensions along
the Chad Darfur border,*” by Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty
International Canada, November 19, 2013)

But with the defeat of Chadian rebels and the diminishment of cross-border
genocidal violence by Khartoum’s militias, Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad
became increasingly invisible. Indeed, In would argue would argue that they
are the most invisible of the surviving victims of the Darfur genocide,
even as mortality has at times been significant in some of the refugee
camps.
Violence and Humanitarian Conditions for Darfuri Refugees in Eastern Chad

There is far too little reporting on the conditions for the hundreds of
thousands of Darfuri refugees in Chad. For much of 2015 I reported, in a
series of twenty-eight updates (http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Or/), based on Radio
Dabanga, dispatches on conditions in both Darfur and eastern Chad. Previous
dispatches from Radio Dabanga were also included as appropriate, especially
for Chad. Herewith some examples, nowhere to be found in reporting by UNHCR
or *UN OCHA* (Note: *camp populations in eastern Chad are primarily women
and children—well over 60 percent of the total population*):

*• Serious water shortage in eastern Chad camp; refugees facing threat of
diseases as they use contaminated water from nearby valleys | *(Radio
Dabanga [Brejean, also Bredjing], August 9, 2012)

Nearly 45,000 Sudanese [Darfuri] refugees from the Brejean camp (eastern
Chad) are suffering from acute water shortage after the water pump’s
generator broke down, residents complained on Tuesday. This has resulted in
refugees traveling to nearby valleys in search of water for drinking and
domestic purposes. The water from the valleys is, however, not suitable for
consumption. Refugees in the camp told Radio Dabanga that the water was
contaminated by both human and animal waste and carcasses leading to the
spread of waterborne diseases, especially among children.

*• Food shortage in eastern Chad camp | *(Radio Dabanga [Eastern Chad],
August 22, 2012)

537 Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad’s Gaga camp have not received their
food rations since last June, a sheikh in the camp told Radio Dabanga on
Monday. Sheikh Mohammed Ismail said, “The United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) has asked the veteran refugees in the camp to share
their food rations with the new arrivals until August, which should have
been the next date for replenishing the food stocks.” However, the refugees
were surprised when the UNHCR asked them to prolong that initiative until
October. The decision was therefore vehemently rejected by the refugees.
Sheikh Mohammed Ismail added, “The new arrivals were registered as refugees
and must receive food on showing their food ration cards.”

*• Shortages in Chad camps for Darfuri refugees | *(Radio Dabanga. Eastern
Chad [Farchana/Treguine camps], 26 November 26, 2013)

The Farchana refugee camp in eastern Chad is suffering from a severe
shortage of medicines and medical staff. Mohamed Dafallah, the head of the
camp, told Radio Dabanga that people being ill have to queue from the early
morning until the evening to see the doctor at the camp health centre.
“There is only one doctor for the population of the camp totalling more
than 26,000 refugees. The suffering of the patients extends beyond seeing a
doctor because they often do not get the medication prescribed as their
conditions do not allow them to buy it at the pharmacy due to the high
medicine prices.”

*Treguine refugee camp *

The Sudanese refugees of the Treguine camp in eastern Chad have renewed
their demands to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the
humanitarian organisations working in the field of water to provide them
with potable water. Ali Yagoub, the head of the camp, told Radio Dabanga
that until now they have been getting their water supply from traditional
wells, due to the collapse of the only water well in the camp a year ago.
The water from the traditional wells is unsafe for drinking.
Nothing is Changing

The problems reported earlier in the now long history of Darfuri refugees
in eastern Chad are all too characteristic, despite up-beat notes from
various UN organizations. The consensus among those in the humanitarian
community is that in many ways conditions are deteriorating; and while
stable compared with Darfur, violence in eastern Chad is a chronic problem
for the refugees, if not on the same scale as was reported by Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch in 2005, 2006. The desperate privation
experienced by Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad continues to this day;
herewith a further but still only  partial culling of articles from Radio
Dabanga  (more dispatches appear in APPENDIX B). The lack of remotely
adequate food supplies is only the most conspicuous issues facing Darfur
refugees:

*• Homes devoured by flames in Darfur, eastern Chad | *February 1, 2017 |
ASSALAYA / GIREIDA / GOZ AMER | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/homes-devoured-by-flames-in-darfur-eastern-chad

On Saturday, four Darfuri families in Goz Amer refugee camp in eastern Chad
lost their houses because of a fire. El Zein Mohamed, correspondent for
Radio Dabanga in eastern Chad reported that the cause of the fire is still
unknown.

*[Camp materials are notoriously flimsy and subject to rapid degradation in
the harsh climate of eastern Chad; arson is also a factor in many camp
fires--ER] *

In 2006, the UN refugee agency UNHCR moved more than 3,000 Chadian refugees
<http://www.unhcr.org/4666d2370.pdf> from the Chad-Sudan border to two new
refugee camps, Um Shalaya and Mukjar, in what was then West Darfur. In December
2013
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/unhcr-resettles-chadian-refugees-in-central-darfur>,
Radio Dabanga reported that the 8,000 Chadian refugees in Um Shalaya
refused to return to Chad, citing the lack of security, stability,
services, and development as reasons. Their status as refugees in Sudan
would officially end in January 2014.

*• Darfuri refugees in Chad concerned about food rations, striking teachers
| *Radio Dabanga | November 17, 2016 | DJABAL REFUGEE CAMP |
https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/darfuri-
refugees-in-chad-concerned-about-food-rations-striking-teachers

*The residents of the Djabal refugee camp in eastern Chad have voiced
concern about new UN World Food Programme (WPF) food distribution
plans. The camp’s school teachers embarked on a strike on Sunday, in
protest against the delayed payment of their salaries.*

In a meeting with WFP representatives on Wednesday morning, camp leaders
rejected the proposal of the UN food agency to received their food rations
through coupons, with which they will be able to purchase food directly
from traders in the area. “The WFP representatives said that it has become
difficult to import food,” Radio Dabanga’s correspondent in eastern Chad
reported.

*The camp elders based their rejection on the inability of merchants to
cover the food needs of the 27,000 Djabal camp refugees. “The lorries
transporting basic goods face many challenges in reaching the camp and its
neighbouring towns during the rainy season.”*

The correspondent added that the *school teachers in the refugee camp
embarked on a strike on Sunday, in protest against the delayed payment of
their salaries. “They have not received their salary of October so far,” he
explained.” The students’ parents have expressed their concerns about their
children's classes, and urged the organisation responsible for education in
the camp to pay the teachers as soon as possible.*

*The loss of educational opportunities for countless Darfuri refugees and
displaced children has received far too little attention--particularly
given the length of time the Darfur genocide has raged--ER]*

*• 35,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad in dire need | *Radio Dabanga | May 4,
2016 | GOZ AMER CAMP | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/35-000-sudanese-refugees-in-chad-in-dire-need

*The Sudanese refugees in Goz Amer camp in eastern Chad complain of a
severe shortage of humanitarian aid, health services, and food.* Speaking
to Radio Dabanga on Tuesday, a number of refugees from the camp said that
the health facilities of the camp, which accommodates more than 35,000
refugees, lack medicines and medical professionals to perform routine
check-ups. They say that the refugees are forced to purchase medicines
external pharmacies for high prices. They also complain that the monthly
food rations have decreased, and of a shortage of drinking water.

*Repatriation*

In September 2015, the Sudanese Commissioner for Refugees’ Affairs, Hamad
El Jezouli, announced the signing of a tripartite agreement between the UN
refugee agency (UNHCR), Sudan, and Chad to repatriate 300,000 Sudanese
refugees and some 8,500 Chadian refugees to their respective countries
within the framework of the voluntary repatriation programme.

However, the leaders of the refugees reject the repatriation programme.
“The implementation of a repatriation programme requires a secure
situation, based on a comprehensive peace agreement for the entire Sudan,
as well as the provision of adequate services and infrastructure,” a
refugee leader told Radio Dabanga following the announcement. “Further, the
new settlers who have taken over our lands are to be evacuated and the
refugees have to be compensated, individually and collectively.”

*• Fire, hospital fees affect Darfuri refugees* | February 28, 2016 |
EASTERN CHAD CAMPS | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/fire-hospital-fees-affect-darfuri-refugees

*Donors from the USA have visited one of the refugee camps in eastern
Chad, where Sudanese refugees report they have to pay a fee in the health
centre to receive treatment.*

*A large fire in another camp in eastern Chad has destroyed 30 homes,
including food and belongings of the camp residents on Friday.* A Radio
Dabanga correspondent Dabanga reported that the now homeless refugees in
Goz Amer camp have little food and no shelter. They asked the humanitarian
organisations that are active in the area to help them.

*Hospitals fees*

*Sudanese refugees in Jebel camp have complained about the fees for
hospital patients that have been imposed by the Chadian authorities, in
addition to the soaring prices of medicines in pharmacie*s. The same
correspondent said that the fee amounts to 40 Chadian Riyals, the
equivalent of SDG5, on patients in health centres. "The centre runs short
of medicines, prompting patients to buy drugs from pharmacies in Goz Beida,
which is two kilometres away from Jebel. The majority of refugees cannot
afford these medicines, however."

*US visit*

A delegation of donors from the USA visited Jebel camp to assess the
humanitarian situation last week. "The Sudanese refugees explained to the
delegates that the humanitarian situation in the camp is disastrous because
the agricultural season largely failed last year," the correspondent
explained. They complained that the World Food Programme om the camp has
classified the refugees into four categories for receiving aid. "This
classification has kept the majority of refugees out from the monthly
support." The refugees requested the reconsideration of the classification
and the provision of more food in the camp. In the past, refugees
have complained about the late or suspended distribution of food
<https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/thirst-hunger-among-sudanese-refugees-in-chad>
by
aid agencies. *According to the UNHCR in 2015, more than 360,000 Sudanese
live in at least 12 refugee camps in eastern Chad.*

A week ago, an Independent Member of Parliament of Karnoi, Um Baru and El
Tina localities, in North Darfur, reported the unprecedented large influx
of more than 27,000 Darfuri refugees from Chad to Um Baru since 16
February. About 24,000 Sudanese already returned in December last year,
mainly because of the Chadian government ultimatum for Sudanese refugees to
either integrate into the camps or to return to Sudan. Aid agencies’ food
ration cuts have affected daily life in the eastern Chadian camps and
services are limited. Measures by the Chadian government push the refugees
to become more self-sufficient, integrate in Chad, or return to Darfur.

*[Recent years have seen tremendous suffering and privation and destruction
among the Darfuri refugee population in eastern Chad--see APPENDIX B for
dispatches going back several years---ER]*

Given the acute shortage of food, especially during Ramadan, perhaps the
most poignant reminder of the plight, and hope, of both Darfuri refugees
and IDPs was reported only by Radio Dabanga in July 2015, using a figure of
400,000 for the number of Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad—a figure that
may well have been—and may remain—more accurate than the figures
promulgated by the UNHCR:

*• Eid El Fitr: messages from Sudanese refugees and displaced | *Radio
Dabanga | July 17, 2015 | Chad / Darfur | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/eid-al-fitr-messages-from-sudanese-
refugees-and-displaced

Sudanese living in camps for refugees in eastern Chad and displaced persons
in Darfur send out their messages and wishes on occasion of Eid El Fitr
that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Refugees in eastern Chad
hope Darfur will be “freed from violence and other heinous crimes,” and
that the region will see stability again as other “Muslim countries” do.
Zein Mohamed Ahmed, an activist living in camp Djabal, said refugees still
remember celebrating Eid El Fitr in their own country and hope they are
able to do that again soon. He said the 400,000 Sudanese refugees living in
13 camps in eastern Chad, face daily hardships due to the bad humanitarian
conditions in these sites.

That the international community is unwilling to do more to honor and
sustain the hopes of these people is a grim extension of the indifference
shown to the more than 2.7 million people who remain internally displaced
in Darfur itself.
APPENDIX A: Figures for Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad*2010 and prior: *

A suspiciously static figure of *262,000 Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad* was
used by UNCHR and other UN organizations in 2010 and earlier, going back to
the initial years of the genocidal onslaught.
*2011*

May 13, 2011 Amnesty International: Annual Report 2011 – Chad |
http://www.refworld.org/docid/4dce15779.html

The security situation remained volatile in the east. More than* 262,000
Sudanese refugees from Darfur were living in 12 refugee camps*… In May, at
least 5,000 new refugees arrived following fighting in Darfur.
*2012*

“UNHCR confirms no refugees have returned to Darfur from Chad” | Radio
Dabanga | April 2, 2012 | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/unhcr-confirms-no-refugees-have-returne
d-to-darfur-from-chad

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has confirmed that no refugees repatriated to
Darfur from Chad, as suggested by the *New York Times*. *UNHCR Chad
representative *Jean Bosco spoke to Radio Dabanga

*[The New York Times dispatch from Nyuru, West Darfur was a journalistic
travesty, grossly misrepresenting conditions in Darfur and eastern Chad |
see **h**ttp://wp.me/s45rOG-7553 <http://wp.me/s45rOG-7553>** ]*

*We are happy to interview you today at Radio Dabanga.* *Firstly, we would
like to know: **How many Sudanese are registered as refugees in Chad?*

*“**For the time being we have **282,743.”*

*Did any voluntary repatriation take place ever?*

*“So far no repatriation took place from the Sudanese refugee camps in Chad*
.”

*In the last year, 2012, did there happen any repatriation?*

*“No, last year, nobody repatriated from the refugee camps.”*
*2013*

“Submission by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Compilation
Report – Universal Periodic Review: CHAD,” March 2013:

This UNHCR report offers a figure of *311,000 Darfuri refugees in eastern
Chad* | | http://www.refworld.org/pdfid/514ac48c2.pdf

Notably, this figure could not take account of the large “surge” in
refugees reported by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
the following month; MSF reported from Tissi, eastern Chad (April 26,
2013): “Violent clashes in Sudan’s Darfur region have driven approximately
50,000 people across the border into southeastern Chad since early March
[2013].” (https://www.msfindia.in/chad-urgent-need-aid-50000-displace
d-darfur-violence/)

*330,000 Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad* was the consensus figure in 2013
after the violence in Darfur was fully account for.
*2015*

At a link now dead, UNHCR gave a figure of *380,000 Darfuri refugees in
eastern Chad*

[Dead link: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e45c226.html ]

*See for a discussion of this figure, see my account of a year ago: “How
Many Refugees in Chad?” August 9, 2016* | http://sudanreeves.org/
2016/08/09/how-many-refugees-in-chad-august-2016/
*2016*

Email communication between this writer and UNHCR officials in Chad (April
29 – 30, 2016) yielded a UNHCR assertion that there were *302,000 Darfuri
refugees in eastern Chad.*

*2017*

*Sudan Tribune* reports in a June 2, 2017 dispatch that* “More than 350,000
Sudanese refugees from Darfur region are officially registered in Chad”* |
http://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article62624/.

*The UN continues to use the figures in the range of 318,473; *see for
example, “*Sudan: Darfur Overview,” July 1, 2017 |  *
http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Da
rfur_Humanitarian_Overview_A3_01_Jul_2017.pdf/.

Given past UN misrepresentations of figures for Darfuri displaced persons
and refugees—always figures that must be corrected upwards—theirs must be
regarded as a minimum number for Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad, with the
possibility that the actual number is very considerably higher. This is
especially true given typical registration methods used by UNHCR, UN World
Food Program, and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs—and past tendentious misrepresentations from senior officials such
as Georg Charpentier: see in particular *"How many Internally Displaced
Persons (IDPs) are there in Darfur?" **Dissent Magazine**, April 28, 2011 *|
 http://wp.me/p45rOG-Bq <http://wp.me/p45rOG-Bq>/.
*APPENDIX B: Dispatches from Radio Dabanga concerning conditions for
Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad*

*• Food rations for Darfuri refugees in Chad "may be cut next year’\" | *Radio
Dabanga | August 2, 2015 | EASTERN CHAD | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/food-rations-for-darfuri-refugees-in-
chad-may-be-cut-next-year

*Darfuris living in the 14 refugee camps in eastern Chad will probably not
receive food rations in 2016.* Representatives of the UN High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) told leaders of the refugee camps last week that the
distribution of the monthly food rations may end in January, because of a
lack of funds. A Radio Dabanga correspondent in Djabal refugee camp
reported that the camp leaders were told to prepare the people early for
the expected halt in distribution. He said that the refugees are already
living in a difficult situation, as the rations were reduced last year. “A
large number of children left school this year because of these ration
cuts, as they had to search for work to provide some extra income,” he
explained.

“As many children work with their parents on farms, they are not able to
return to the camp to go to school.”

*• Food delayed in Bredjing Camp for Darfur in East Chad | *Radio Dabanga |
June 19, 2015 | BREJING | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/food-delayed-in-bredjing-camp-for-darfur-in-east-chad

The Sudanese refugees in the camps of eastern Chad are complaining about
the reduction of food rations, high food prices and consumer goods at the
start of the holy month of Ramadan.

The Vice President of Bredjing Camp And Secretary of Women Affairs, Hawa
Bakhit Adam, told Radio Dabanga that the food rations provided by UN
agencies have been reduced to one plate of grain, approx. 2,5 kg of lentils
per month. That is in total less than a pound of food products per person
in a month, She said, there is also a delay in food rations distribution
dates.

The international NGOs and UN have adopted a policy to make the semi
permanent refugee population less dependent from food aid. The
organizations do also face funding constraints. Many men are working or
living outside the camps and working in goldmines or elsewhere.

*• Sudan, Chad agree on voluntary return for refugees* | Radio Dabanga |
June 1, 2017 | KHARTOUM | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/sudan-chad-agree-on-voluntary-return-for-refugees

The Governments of Sudan and Chad have signed three bilateral agreements
for the voluntary return of refugees from the two countries.

*Refugees refuse*

Speaking to Radio Dabanga following a visit by a delegation from the US
Embassy in Sudan to the Um Shalaya refugee camp in Azum in April this
year, *the
head of the camp said that the refugees reject voluntary return to Chad due
to a lack of security and development in the areas of their origin. People
in eastern Chad fled their villages in 2005 and 2006, after Darfuri
militiamen intruded into the region, following the Darfuri population
fleeing to Chad. The militiamen began to attack the local population, and
the attacks soon became common. Thousands of Chadians sought refuge in
Darfur.*

*[All too often camp leaders are simply left out of deliberations about the
future of Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad--ER]*

*• Food distribution delayed for Darfuri refugees in Chad camp | *Radio
Dabanga | March 16, 2014 | CHAD / GAGA CAMP

https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/food-distri
bution-delayed-for-darfuri-refugees-in-chad-camp

The refugees of Gaga camp in eastern Chad are suffering from a severe
shortage of food, owing to the delay of the food rations’ distribution, and
the reduction of the rations since early 2014. “The camp residents are
facing hunger because of the delay in the distribution of food
rations,” Yasin Abdel Karim, an activist at Gaga refugee camp, told Radio
Dabanga. “So far we have not received rations in March. This is serious as
the food rations provided by the World Food Programme already were reduced
since the start of this year. A sack of sorghum is now supposed to feed 12
people instead of four, like last year.” Abdel Karim appealed to “the
organisations working in the field of food and the donors to reverse the
reduction of the food rations and distribute the aid on time, in order to
prevent the dire humanitarian conditions in which we are now living.”

*Disease kills 21 Darfuri children in Chad | *Radio Dabanga | March 30,
2015 | EASTERN CHAD | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/disease-kills-21-darfuri-children-in-chad

At least 21 children in the Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad died of a
mysterious disease last week. The head of Iridimi refugee camp, near the
West Darfur border, told Radio Dabanga that 15 children died of a disease
causing fever, vomiting, and breathing difficulties. In Touloum refugee
camp, six children died of the same symptoms, camp head Haidar Gardia
reported. Both camp leaders requested the UN Refugees agency, UNHCR, to
dispatch a medical team to the camps in eastern Chad, and contain the
disease “before it kills more children.”

*• Darfur refugees in Chad destitute | *Radio Dabanga | March 19, 2014 |
CHAD / KOUNONGOU CAMP | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/darfur-refugees-in-chad-destitute

The Sudanese refugees of the Kounongou camp in eastern Chad complain about
the reduction of food rations and the prices of medicines. “The World Food
Programme reduced the ration three months ago. Now 12 people, instead of
four, have to make do with a sack of 50kg per month,” Adam Mohamed, one of
the sheikhs of Kounongou camp told Radio Dabanga.

“Another problem we are facing is the lack of medicines at the health
centre of the camp. The staff prescribes medicines that we have to buy from
commercial pharmacies.” The camp sheikh explained that the refugees do not
have any source of income to buy food and medicines, calling upon
humanitarian organisations to help finding a solution for the crisis.

*[If there are victims of the Darfur genocide more invisible than the
refugees of eastern Chad, Darfuri refugees in Central African Republic must
be the only candidates—ER]*

*• Darfuri refugees in CAR and Chad in dire need | *Radio Dabanga |
February 25, 2014 | BEMBERE / TOULOUM | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/darfuri-refugees-in-car-and-chad-in-dire-need

The refugees of the Bembere camp in the Central African Republic (CAR) are
living in extremely difficult humanitarian, health, and security
conditions. Since relief organisations have left because of the insecurity
in the country, the Bembere refugees are suffering from a shortage of food
and medicines. Abdel Rahman Ismail, the head of the Bembere camp, told
Radio Dabanga that the organisations working in the camp left when the
armed conflict erupted in the country. “We have not received aid or food
for more than two months. And we cannot leave the camp anymore because of
the rampant insecurity." He demanded via Radio Dabanga for the UNHCR to
intervene “as soon as possible,” and provide food and medicines to the camp
residents, and move them to another country.

*Eastern Chad*

The refugees of the Touloum, Ardemi, and Um Nabag refugee camps in eastern
Chad have complained of poor health services at the medical centres of the
camps and a shortage of medicines. Speaking to Radio Dabanaga, the head of
Touloum camp, Haidar Suleiman Gadria, said that the refugees of Touloum,
Ardemi, and Um Nabag camps are suffering from a lack of medicines. They
cannot afford to buy medicines from the regular pharmacies. There is also a
shortage of health personnel, especially midwives. The work of the national
health organisation working in the camps is limited to the camps only. When
refugees are transferred to a hospital in Abéché, they find difficulty in
registering at the reception, seeing doctors, or receiving treatment.

*• Sudanese refugees in CAR need aid, food | *Radio Dabanga | January 16,
2014 | BEMBERE / TOULOUM | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/sudanese-refugees-in-car-need-aid-food

Around 2,200 Sudanese refugees from Darfur at camp Bembere in the Central
African Republic (CAR) are living in “extremely difficult humanitarian
conditions” after aid organisations left owing to the violence in the
country. The sheikh of the Bembere camp for Sudanese refugees in the CAR,
Abdel Rahman Ismail, told Radio Dabanga that all the food, health and
education organisations have left the camp since the beginning of the
incidents in the CAR. He pointed out that they have not received food or
health services since a month. He added that all Bembere residents have
left the area, leaving behind only the around 2,200 Sudanese refugees.
Ismail again appealed via Radio Dabanga to the UN and the humanitarian
organisations to move them from the fighting between Muslims and Christians
in the CAR.

*• Sudanese refugees face starvation in Chad camps | *Radio Dabanga |
January 30, 2014 | CHAD / KOUNONGOU CAMP | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/sudanese-refugees-face-starvation-in-chad-camps

*Sudanese refugees in the camps of eastern Chad say that their overall
situation is deteriorating rapidly after the reduction in food rations,
health and educational services, by international relief organisations*.
Sheikh Eisa Tijani, the head of the Kounongou camp, told Radio Dabanga that
international organisations’ decision to reduce the budget since the
beginning of this year will lead to starvation. *He described the arguments
for the reduction as “flimsy.”* “They told us that donors have failed to
pay and that other conflict zones emerged in the world.” He called the
budget cuts “inhumane,” “considering that the world and its institutions
are fully aware of the reasons that forced us to flee from our homes. We
get the idea that the whole world is fighting us in the same way as Omar Al
Bashir.”

*• Darfur refugees in eastern Chad close to starving | *Radio Dabanga |
July 23, 2014 | EASTERN CHAD | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/darfur-refugees-in-eastern-chad-close-to-starving

Soaring prices and the reduction of food rations have forced a number of
Darfuri refugees in the eastern Chad camps to *break the fast with bread
made of toxic mekheit seeds,* and to dig into ant hills in search for
food.  The refugees in eastern Chad are facing extremely difficult
humanitarian conditions, Ali Yagoub, the head of the Treguine refugee camp
told Radio Dabanga. “The people in the camps are almost starving, as the
current food ration contains a little sugar, vegetable oil, and 15 grams of
sorghum per capita a day. *Flour, salt, and soap have been cut.* Because
the people do not find work to earn some income, they are *forced to dig
into ant hills in search of food, and resort to making bread from the
toxic mekheit seeds.* The camp head appealed to the World Food Programme to
speed up the provision of food.

*850 kilocalories a day*

On 1 July, the heads of the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN refugee
agency, UNHCR, urgently appealed for extra funding. In a joint press
release, they warned that funding difficulties, compounded by security and
logistical problems in some countries, have forced cuts in food rations for
nearly 800,000 refugees in Africa. In the press release, *the two UN
agencies state that the refugees in Chad are facing the severest food cuts.
“Some 300,000 refugees in Chad, primarily from Sudan's Darfur region in the
east and from the Central African Republic in the south, are among the
worst affected by the cuts. Food distributions there have been slashed by
up to 60 percent, leaving refugees with a scant 850 kilocalories per day*.
In the south of Chad, some refugees are able to grow food on small plots
provided by the government. In the arid east, however, that is not an
option for most refugees. Nor is it a viable solution for newly arriving
refugees.” Generally, the WFP tries to provide 2,100 kilocalories per
refugee a day.

*• Hungry Darfuri refugees eat toxic seeds | *Radio Dabanga | July 2,
2014 | EASTERN CHAD | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/hungry-darfuri-refugees-eat-toxic-seeds

*The Darfuri refugees in the 12 eastern Chad camps are suffering from an
acute shortage of food. “The suffering has worsened with the start of the
fasting month of Ramadan,” *Jamal Daoud, the head of the Bredjing refugee
camp told Radio Dabanga. “The World Food Programme (WFP) brought back the
food rations to three items only: sorghum, beans, and oil. The amounts were
reduced too. *We now receive 4 kg of sorghum per capita a month, instead of
12 kg.”*

*• Darfur refugees in Chad’s Farchana camp eating grass | *Radio Dabanga |
April 29, 2014 | EASTERN CHAD | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/darfur-refugees-in-chad-s-farchana-camp-eating-grass

Darfuris in the eastern Chad refugee camps are on the brink of starvation
after food rations were reduced in December last year. Darfuri refugees in
South Sudan’s Western Bahr El Ghazal state, are also living in poor
humanitarian conditions. “*The Gaga, Farchana, Treguine, Bredjing, and
Touloum refugee camps are witnessing a rapid deterioration of the
humanitarian situation owing to the reduction of food rations,” Haider
Suleiman Gadiria, the head of the Tuloum camp reported to Radio Dabanga.
“The World Food Programme reduced the rations of sorghum and sugar for the
refugees in eastern Chad camps by 50 percent since December last year.  In
April this year the distribution of salt and a mixture of soap was
stopped.”*

*Grass*

The head of the Farchana camp, Mohamed Dafallah told Radio Dabanga that the
camp population has reached the brink of starvation. “They are now eating
grass, and digging in ants’ hills in search of food.” He noted that the
reduced food rations are sufficient for one week. “The situation in the
camps is nearing a humanitarian disaster.” The camp head demanded from the
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme to
“undo this policy, and provide adequate nutritional support for the
refugees.”

*Food cuts*

*Refugees in Chad face the most severe food cuts of all displaced and
refugees in Africa, UNHCR and WFP reported in a joint press release on
Tuesday. *“Some 300,000 refugees in Chad, primarily from Sudan's Darfur
region in the east and from the Central African Republic in the south, are
among the worst affected by the cuts. Food distributions there have been
slashed by up to 60 percent, leaving refugees with a scant 850 kilocalories
per day. In the south of Chad, some refugees are able to grow food on small
plots provided by the government. In the arid east, however, that is not an
option for most refugees.” The heads of the WFP and UNHCR stated that
funding difficulties, compounded by security and logistical problems in
some countries, have forced cuts in food rations for nearly 800,000
refugees in Africa. The cuts may worsen the already unacceptable levels of
acute malnutrition, particularly in children.

*• WFP stops food rations for Gaga refugee camp in Chad: Sheikh | *Radio
Dabanga January 22, 2014 | CHAD / GAGA CAMP | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/wfp-stops-food-rations-for-gaga-refugee
-camp-in-chad-sheikh

*The refugees of the Gaga refugee camp in eastern Chad will not receive
food rations in 2014.*

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, sheikh Juma reported that the 23,200 Darfuri
refugees residing in the camp received reduced food rations from the World
Food Programme (WFP) in December and January. Representatives of the WFP
told the refugees that there is no budget for food rations for the year
2014. The refugees received rations of sorghum, sugar, beans, and oil, all
reduced by 75 percent, in December and by 50 percent in January. These
rations, paid from WFP’s 2013 budget, were the last ones for the camp.
Sheikh Juma referred to “the widows, the elderly and the weak, who will
suffer severely from this problem”, and called on the WFP to resume the
distribution of food rations as in the past, “by 100 percent.”

*• No food for new Darfuri refugees in Chad | *Radio Dabanga | February 4,
2014 | TOULOUM camp, eastern Chad | https://www.dabangasudan.org
/en/all-news/article/no-food-for-new-darfuri-refugees-in-chad

*Some 135 families from North Darfur who reached the Touloum refugee camp
in eastern Chad in September last year do not have access to food.* Ahmed
Abakar Shatta, the coordinator of new refugees at the Touloum refugee camp
told Radio Dabanga that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and
the Chad National Committee for the Reception of Refugees on Monday
distributed sheets, blankets, and mattresses, household utensils, and
mosquito nets. The families also received refugee identity cards. However
the families, originally from El Sareif Beni Hussein, did not receive food.
The coordinator described their situation as “extremely bad*”. “They have
to go around in the camp begging for food.”  He appealed to UNHCR and the
Chad National Committee to promptly provide food for the new refugees.*
-- 

Eric Reeves, Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s François-Xavier Bagnoud
Center for Health and Human Rights



eree...@smith.edu

www.sudanreeves.org

Twitter@SudanReeves

About Eric Reeves: http://sudanreeves.org/about-eric-reeves

Philanthropy: 
*http://ericreeves-woodturner.com/woodturnings-available-for-purchase-dire
<http://ericreeves-woodturner.com/woodturnings-available-for-purchase-dire>*

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