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Every Day Brings One More Wounded to Adré Hospital
February 16, 2006
Thierry Allafort-Duverger, head of emergency team for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), has just returned from a visit to Chad. Clashes in the region of Adré, on the border with western Sudan, have caused deaths and injuries. This increased instability has also led to further population displacement and is hampering humanitarian aid efforts.
The region to the east of Chad–on the border with Sudan–is undergoing a period of sustained instability. In December, clashes between government forces and Chadian rebel groups broke out in and around the city of Adré. Since then regular attacks by the Chad rebels or armed fighters have targeted villages on both sides. Every day brings one more wounded to the hospital of Adré where we're working.
This period of instability has also led to populations being displaced–either villagers fleeing an attack, or people trying to flee border areas to avoid attacks. Humanitarian aid, however, is concentrated in the official refugee camps housing Sudanese refugees from the Darfur area (there are approximately 200,000 in the region), and is not reaching vulnerable people outside these areas. To the south of Adré in Koloyé, around 16,000 people arrived at the end of December. We're bolstering our operations in this area with a mobile clinic to carry out consultations in Adré and Koloyé. Our medical presence here should put us in a position to stabilize and transfer those wounded in armed attacks, and to react in the event of epidemics.
Though the Sudanese refugees are worried by rumors that they will be subject to attack and oppression on their return, for the time being, the violence has not yet directly affected the camps housing them. The instability has however disrupted the flow of humanitarian aid to the area. An attack on Guérédé–a village to the north of Adré–prompted the departure of 150 personnel of various nongovernmental organizations and UN agencies, adding to concern over the level of assistance currently available.