Attacks against aid workers impeding humanitarian relief in eastern Chad – UN

27 December 2007

Banditry continues to impede the efforts of humanitarian workers to deliver much-needed relief in eastern Chad, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported.

Recently, two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were attacked – MSF-Spain in the capital N’Djamena and ATHAS in Bahai. Refugees are also the victims of attacks, OCHA noted.

The ongoing insecurity has led to the partial relocation of aid workers to areas deemed to be safer such as Abeche, a city in eastern Chad. The UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other organizations have curbed their use of local roads to transport relief items to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).

To ensure that relief assistance is provided should security conditions continue to deteriorate, the UN and its partners – who are aiding over 230,000 Sudanese refugees and 180,000 IDPs – have revised their contingency plans for the areas of Goz Beida and Koukou, where almost half of the IDP population of Chad resides.

In a report earlier this month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote that preparations for the UN-mandated, multidimensional presence in eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic (CAR) – which will include European Union (EU) military forces – are on track.

However, he warned that eastern Chad’s security situation “remained volatile and unpredictable,” and that “the renewed violence has put the civilian population living in the area at increased risk and will further impede the work of the humanitarian community in providing the much-needed assistance to the population at risk.”

 

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