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UN refugee official to visit Chad as new refugees arrive everyday

A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today that this would be the first mission for Judy Cheng-Hopkins, who took up her post earlier this month, adding that “it’s an important one given the many concerns we’re facing in Chad and in the region as a whole.”“The Assistant High Commissioner will review our operations both in eastern Chad, where we have 12 camps and more than 200,000 Sudanese refugees from Darfur, as well as in southern Chad where we continue to see a worrisome influx of thousands of refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR),” Ron Redmond told a press briefing.“Our teams report that at least 100 persons are still crossing on a daily basis” from the CAR, Mr. Redmond said, fleeing attacks by rebel groups and Government forces, although he added that this figure was down from about 200 daily at the start of the week.Ms. Cheng-Hopkins would first visit Abeche and Bahai, in eastern Chad, to assess the agency’s field operations in the camps for Darfur refugees, who have fled the killings in that region of neighbouring Sudan, and she would hold meetings with local Chadian officials at all of her stops.After these visits she will move to southern Chad, “where we continue to see a steady flow of refugee arrivals from the northern Central African Republic,” Mr. Redmond said.UNHCR said it was discussing with Chadian authorities the opening of a new refugee site because of the anticipation of more refugees fleeing violence in the CAR. read more