Six aid groups have suspended operations in eastern Chad following the killing of one worker, the kidnapping of another and a spate of banditry, the UN said on Nov. 13. The move could hit thousands of people who either have fled the Darfur conflict in neighboring Sudan or suffer at the hands of Chad rebels who have long operated in the area. "To date, five NGOs and the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) have temporarily suspended their activities in the east," Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told a news briefing. "Serious acts of banditry in eastern Chad over the last two weeks jeopardize the continuity of humanitarian operations," she added, citing the death of a local worker for the agency Solidarite and the kidnapping of a French ICRC worker. Byrs said around 37,000 people, often living in vulnerable conditions, would be affected by the suspension. (Reuters)

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