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Sudanese refugees say they want to settle in Chad

Women from Darfur line up to receive their monthly ration in the Djabal camp, in eastern Chad (WFP Photo)

August 7, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - 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.

"The asylum seekers said that they do not intend to return to Terbebe in Sudan because of the insecurity prevailing there. They plan to settle in Katarfa where villagers are willing to welcome them and give them access to land for farming and housing," said the humanitarian report.

The refugees said they feel safe in eastern Chad, pointing that the Chadian security forces have increased their patrols in the area.

They said other families affected by the tribal violence moved into other Sudanese areas such as Kango Haraza.

Citing local residents, the UN agency said that the increase in the level of water in the area following the rainy season may have discouraged other to follow them in Chad.

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.

On 31 May, Sudan, Chad and the UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement on the voluntary repatriation of Sudanese refugees from Chad and Chadian refugees from Sudan.

there is no recent statistics about the Sudanese returnees from Chad. In December 2016, some 1,205 Sudanese refugees have returned to West Darfur State from Chad, according to the Sudanese government Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC).

(ST)