UN refugee official to visit refugees in Chad, Central African Republic

12 December 2003

With 115,000 refugees in Chad and 50,700 in the Central African Republic (CAR), a senior United Nations refugee agency official begins a six-day tour of refugee camps tomorrow to try to remove impediments to repatriation.

Kamel Morjane, Assistant High Commissioner in the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is expected to go first to Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, to meet the CAR President, General Francois Bozize.

He is likely to suggest that if the government would stabilize northern CAR, 40,000 CAR refugees, who fled to Chad to escape conflict earlier this year, could return home.

He will also visit refugee camps where there are 36,700 people from Sudan, 10,400 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 1,880 from Chad, 265 from Rwanda, 65 from Burundi and a few from elsewhere.

Next Tuesday he will meet President Idriss Deby of Chad in N'djamena, the Chadian capital, and later visit camps in the eastern region, to which 75,000 refugees escaped from fighting in the Darfur region of western Sudan.

In the next few weeks, UNHCR said, it will begin to move these refugees from the volatile border region to sites deeper inside Chad.

 

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