Clashes in El Geneina, in Sudan’s West Darfur State, have forced more than 11,000 people to flee as refugees into neighbouring Chad since last month. Four thousand of them have fled during last week alone and it is estimated that the clashes have displaced some 46,000 inside the country.
Most of them were already internally displaced people and when attacks happened in West Darfur in late December 2019, including on displacement camps, people fled and found temporary refuge in schools, mosques and other buildings in El Geneina.
With El Geneina only 20 kilometers from the border, thousands of refugees crossed into Chad, a number UNHCR anticipates could reach 30,000 in the coming weeks as tensions persist. UNHCR teams on the ground are hearing accounts of people fleeing after their villages, houses and properties were attacked, many burnt to the ground.
In Chad, the refugees are currently scattered in several villages along a line that spans nearly 100 kilometers near the border, around the town of Adré, in the province of Ouaddaï which already hosts 128,000 Sudanese refugees. The conditions are dire. Most are staying in the open or under makeshift shelters, with little protection from the elements. Food and water are urgently needed, while health conditions are a concern.