International Rescue Committee Urges International Mission to Secure Eastern Chad
On Saturday, Nov. 11, an IRC worker was shot and critically wounded during an attempted vehicle hijacking in Bahai. Such attacks have multiplied in recent months and now occur almost daily along the 600-kilometer border area, targeting Darfur refugees, internally displaced people, and humanitarian workers.
These uncontrolled attacks threaten the humanitarian community’s ability to provide life-saving services, such as clean water, health care and education, to the more than a quarter million people in eastern Chad who depend on assistance for survival.
"We’re calling for an effective monitoring and protection force that could be deployed swiftly to various flash points to protect civilians,” said Joseph Aguettant, Country Director for the International Rescue Committee in Chad. “Unless there is a strongly mandated force, people are going to continue to die.”
Given the rapid deterioration of the situation, IRC recommended an international mission that would cover key locations and major routes to refugee camps, internally displaced camps, and other locations as needed. This force must:
• Provide 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week protection in all 12 of the refugee camps along the Chad-Sudan border;
• Be mandated to protect refugee camps, as well as internally displaced Chadians and humanitarian workers;
• Monitor, investigate, and report on security incidents in and around refugee and IDP centers;
• Provide escorts, when needed, for women leaving camps to search for firewood and water;
• Liaise with humanitarian partners in the area of deployment.