We are happy to interview you today at Radio Dabanga.
Firstly, we would like to know: How many Sudanese are registered as refugees in Chad?
‘For the time being we have 282,743.’
How many Sudanese refugee camps are in Chad?
‘We have 12 refugee camps with Sudanese refugees.’
Is it possible for you to give us the capacity of the refugee camps?
‘There is no standard capacity. Some camps like Areka Soni are hosting 36,000, while others like Milih are hosting only 18,000.’
Did any voluntary repatriation took place ever?
‘So far no repatriation took place from the Sudanese refugee camp in Chad.’
So there are no people retained voluntary from Chad to Sudan officially under the coordination of UNHCR?
‘No, what we call spontaneous repatriation is not organised by the UNHCR. People can decide to go by themselves. In such a case, the UNHCR doesn’t provide for any assistance. We heard that some Sudanese had repatriated. We asked our colleagues from UNHCR, even implementing personnel in the Darfur region. But none had been able to provide evidence that those people were living in the refugee camps in Chad. So right now I’m not in the position to certify that any refugee had repatriated from the refugee camps in Chad.’
I ask this question because we read in the international media that there is repatriation from Sudanese refugee camps in Chad from Sudan.
‘No, this did not happen.’
In the last year, 2012, did there happen any repatriation?
‘No, last year, nobody repatriated from the refugee camps.’
What happened to the agreement between the UNHCR, the Sudanese government, the Chadian government concerning the repatriation of refugees?
‘So far, no tripartite agreement has been signed yet. There have been two tripartite technical meetings. One in Khartoum and one in Chad. The third one will most likely take place on the 9th of May 2012. I am just starting drafting the tripartite agreement. But right now even the draft of the agreement doesn’t exist yet.’
UNAMID denies claims
The UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has denied that any UN official claimed that 100,000 refugees returned from Chad. In an emailed statement, UNAMID’s acting communications director Susan Manuel pointed Radio Dabanga’s attention to the government affiliated Sudan Vision which today reported an additional 4,164 families have returned to the Jebel Moon area from Chad over the past two months.
She said they are currently verifying these figures with UNHCR.
[Sudan Vision is nothing more than a propaganda organ for the Khartoum regime; that a UNAMID official would credit a report in SV is in itself a scandal—ER]
More on civilian displacement in Darfur from Radio Dabanga:
“7,000 flee after government forces raze villages in North Darfur”
Khartoum (2 Apr 2012)
More than 7,000 people have fled their homes in North Darfur after government forces and militants reportedly burned down their villages last week. “7,000 have left the villages of Adam Khatir, Nagojora, Hamid Dilli, Amar Jadid, Koyo and Duga Ferro near Donki Hosh and fled to the surrounding areas where there is no food, water or shelter,” said a newly displaced witness to Radio Dabanga from a safe area. “They attacked us for three days, from Tuesday until Thursday evening. They burned down five villages, looted more than 20 and destroyed water wells and pumps,” added the witness. She appealed to the UN and humanitarian organisations to protect them and provide them with desperately needed assistance.