According to the United Nations refugee agency, 1,800 people fled to Chad last week amid violence in West Darfur in Sudan.
Recent clashes between tribes in Sudan’s West Darfur region have sent more than 1,800 people to flee to Chad over the past week, according to the UN refugee agency.
The majority of the refugees are women, children and the elderly who have fled villages near the border since violence erupted on April 3, said Babar Baloch, spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. refugees (UNHCR).
Some refugees were forced to relocate multiple times when previous clashes killed more than 200 people, two weeks after a joint peacekeeping mission in the UN and African Union region ended in January.
“Refugees arriving in Chad speak of the destruction of their homes and property and of targeted attacks on refugee sites,” Baloch said in a statement, calling conditions in eastern Chad “dire.”
“Families live in the open air or take shelter under trees or in makeshift huts,” he said.
“They have virtually no protection from the elements in an area where temperatures regularly reach 40 degrees Celsius during the day,” he said.
The vast region of Darfur was ravaged by a civil war that erupted in 2003, killing an estimated 300,000 people and displacing 2.5 million people, according to the United Nations.
A UN spokesperson told reporters on Friday that the latest episode of violence erupted between Masalit and Arab tribes in the West Darfur state capital, El Geneina, when assailants shot dead two men from the Massalit tribe.
In response, armed elements on both sides mobilized.
The Massalit are primarily farmers, while Arab tribes are primarily herders, with violence and divisions rooted in conflicts over land, grazing land and water resources, according to the UN.
The UN said it was “appalled” by the resurgence of violence, saying all tribes responsible for the bloodshed must be disarmed, with the Human Rights Office calling for independent investigations.