The United Nations is appealing for international aid to assist some 18,000 Chadian villagers who have returned to their homes in a resource-poor region of the strife-torn African country after fleeing inter-communal violence and a spill-over of the conflict from neighbouring Sudan’s Darfur region.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Mission in Chad and the Central African Republic (MINURCAT) have stressed that the lack of natural resources are the principal cause of conflict between the local and foreign populations.
A symbolic reconciliation ceremony was held over the weekend between the communities in the villages of Tiero and Marena in an area from where some 30,000 people fled a worsening security situation in 2007, many into Darfur where the Sudanese Government, its allied militias and rebels have been fighting for more than six years.
Between 2005 and 2006 the villages sheltered several thousand people fleeing the fighting along the Chad-Sudan border, but in 2007 they were themselves victims of attacks that killed several hundred people and displaced thousands more.
UN officials attending the ceremony pledged to support the return home of displaced communities in the region.