Chief of UN refugee agency will make 10-day visit to Sudan, Chad and Kenya

19 August 2005

The United Nations refugee agency chief will make a 10-day visit to Sudan, Chad and Kenya, starting next Monday, visiting some of the camps which now house hundreds of thousands of the more than 6 million refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) who fled Sudan’s civil strife, and meeting with senior Government officials.

People fleeing a 21-year civil war in southern Sudan have spread into Uganda, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Central African Republic (CAR), Egypt and Eritrea, while from strife-torn Sudan’s Darfur region some 200,000 refugees have poured into 12 camps in eastern Chad, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today.

High Commissioner António Guterres will first go to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, to meet senior officials from the Government and UN agencies before leaving next day for Darfur to visit camps for IDPs and to meet officials from the inter-governmental African Union (AU) and local government, it said.

Over the border in eastern Chad, he will visit two of the refugee camps and talk to Chadian Government leaders before heading to southern Sudan to look at preparations for the returning refugees, including school and hospital rehabilitation and land mine removal.

In Kenya he will also discuss the situation with senior Government officials and visit the Kakuma refugee camp, returning the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva on Thursday, 1 September.

During his first mission as High Commissioner in June, Mr. Guterres went toUganda which has been hosting 204,400 southern Sudanese refugees, visited some of their settlements and discussed with them their hopes and fears for their repatriation.

 

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