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Copyright© 1999-2008 Community of Sant'Egidio
16/02/2008

Violence in Chad: Solidarity of the Community of Sant’Egidio

On 1st February 2008, just a few days following the arrival of a European task force on the border between Chad and Darfour (Sudan), rebel Chad forces attacked the country’s capital city of N’Djamena. The central government has managed to hold out a week of clashes, but fighting has left hundreds dead and thousands wounded: for the most part civilians.

The upshot has been a mass exodus: in a few days tens of thousands of civilians have sought refuge in neighboring Cameroon. They have arrived on foot, leaving almost everything behind in the rush to leave under fire from artillery and helicopter gun ships targeting the populace at large.

Some young activists from the Community of Sant’Egidio in N’Djamena have also been forced to flee along with their families and numerous children from the “Peace School”, who have been in their care for years. These are children from the shanty towns around the capital, who would otherwise have been left to fend alone during those dreadful hours, given the difficulties their families have in caring for them. The group joined up with dozens of other refugees, managing to escape to Cameroon, to the city of Kousséri. In this place, together with friends from Cameroon’s Community of Sant’Egidio who rushed to their assistance, they have set up what can be no more than a make-shift camp.

250 persons are there, devoid of every necessity, awaiting their chance to return to Chad. A supply chain of solidarity between Italy and Cameroon soon came into being, making it possible to buy some rice, sugar, oil, drinking water, blankets to shelter from the night-time cold, mosquito nets and mats to lie on. There has as yet been no action on the part of international bodies. Their intention is to return, but the situation still does not allow them to do so.

And there are nonetheless all the unknowns of a return amid harsh difficulties: N’Djamena has many wounded from violent combat, many neighborhoods have been gutted; sacked houses and shops will need to be rebuilt. Which is why a collection has been started for a second shipment of aid. The primary objective is that of survival in Cameroon, until it becomes possible to return to Chad. The secondary objective is to supply what is needed for a safe return and to assist the families once they are back in their homeland.
Donazioni on-line

Comunità di Sant'Egidio - Emergenze Umanitarie - Pakistan - Raccolte Donazioni Should anybody wish to make a contribution for this area especially, they can send a one-off contribution via Online Donations with reason for payment “Emergency in Chad” , or to:

giro account 807040
Community of S.Egidio-ACAP Onlus
IBAN: IT67D0760103200000000807040

 

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