The 41-degree heat rises like steam from every rock and roof, but as the sun approaches sunset, a thunderstorm billows from the sky.

A woman, deep in a latrine, stops digging to run under a corrugated zinc roof with a square timber frame fixed to protect against the rain.

It is her new home in an extension of the Forshana refugee camp.

Built in 2003 at the start of the war in Darfur, the site is now expanding to accommodate the latest wave of people fleeing the violence.

Some 90,000 refugees have arrived in eastern Chad, seeking safety from the ongoing conflict in the country Sudan.

UNHCR’s deputy representative in Chad, Patrice Awanso, expects another 10,000 to come to Fourchana alone due to the ongoing crisis.

“Some of them are internally displaced in Sudan and are now crossing over to seek asylum in Chad, and others were here before as refugees and returned and returned again as refugees,” he said.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 85,000 people have fled to Chad from El Geneina – the capital of West Darfur state and the epicenter of the conflict.

The city has been in darkness for more than a week because telecommunications have been cut off and many residents are trapped.

Door-to-door attacks by militias backed by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – the group in conflict with the Sudanese government – have been reported.

The only information comes from those who managed to get out.

‘They set us on fire and took everything’

Souad Ramadan Abdallah has just arrived at Gaga’s camp in Chad from Muli in Sudan – a village just south of the city and not far enough from its raging violence.

“There are clashes, burning and killing in El Geneina,” she said.

People can’t even eat or drink.

“They set us on fire and took everything. We came here naked with nothing – not even a pot for a baby.”

Some 90,000 people have fled Sudan's West Darfur state to eastern Chad

Like others fleeing the state, Souad and her family had to make a long detour to Chad because the main road from El Geneina has been plagued by violent attacks recently.

After their arrival, the spread of violence from the border meant that they had to be relocated after an arduous journey.

“Wherever they move us, we are ready because we have small children,” said farmer Molly Abdullah Khater Ahmed, sitting on the sweltering ground next to Souad.

“We can’t make them come and kill us every time. That’s why we came here,” he added.

The war waged by the Sudanese army against its former state security partners, the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, has forced more than a million people to flee their homes.

Some 250,000 civilians have crossed into neighboring countries, and the rest are trapped in Khartoum and Darfur.

The people left behind face daily terror from guerrilla warfare and military attacks.

Read more about the Sudan crisis:
Damage scale in before and after photos
UK evacuation ends

Inside a war-torn country
Combat explained
United Nations envoy on the struggle for calm

Some 90,000 people have fled Sudan's West Darfur state to eastern Chad

“At this moment, it’s intense.”

Aicha Azzine came to Chad from Konga, another village outside El Geneina, with her seven children, the youngest of whom is four years old.

“The war was happening,” she said.

“It was going on but it wasn’t like that at all. It’s intense in the moment.”

She said that Arab militias brought cows to eat all the crops on their farmland.

At night, they tortured and killed the men.

The RSF were born out of these militias – known as the Janjaweed, which means “devils on horseback” in the local dialect – and were empowered, trained and funded by the country they are now fighting.

The war encouraged tribal militias to benefit from their support in Darfur.

Aisha’s family and other Konga residents fled their farmland to come to Porota, a two-week-old camp that was raised out of necessity.

“We will not go back – unless there is a solution,” said Mohamed, Aisha’s elderly neighbor.

“We are weak and insecure.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.