Mounting Chad conflict endangers refugee aid

United Nations agencies raised alarm amidst the growing Chad conflict as aid for more than 300,000 Chadians and Sudanese refugees were put at risk. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres and World Food Program Executive Director James Morris, urgently called for order to be restored swiftly in eastern Chad after the main supply warehouses in Abeche, the center of fighting between government forces and rebels were looted over the weekend. “There are more than 300,000 uprooted people in 12 refugee camps and various sites for internally displaced Chadians who are almost totally dependent on outside help from WFP, UNHCR and our partners,” Guterres said, adding that “the loss of our main stockpiles for the eastern region and the restrictions on our staff because of continuing insecurity are jeopardizing that fragile lifeline”. The UN reports that about 483 tons of food was taken from one warehouse in the town center and more than $1 million worth of relief supplies including blankets and tents disappeared from another. The Chadian army regained control of Abeche on Sunday, however, rebels vowed to continue their campaign to oust Chad president Idriss Deby Itno. (Source: Vital aid lifeline threatened by Chad fighting: UN agencies/Agence France-Presse)

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