Inter-communal clashes in Dafur displace 50,000 people into Chad

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Many Sudanese refugee children are traumatized by the violence they witnessed or suffered in Darfur. Farchana Camp, Eastern Chad. UNHCR/Zalmai

Over 50,000 refugees from the Darfur region of Sudan have crossed the border into Chad, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

The refugees are fleeing fresh tribal clashes in the southwestern Sudanese town of Um Dukhum.

UNHCR says this is the largest influx of refugees from Sudan into Chad since 2005.

UNHCR says the refugees are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance as they are camped in a remote region which is over 200 kilometres from the nearest UNHCR field office.

Melissa Fleming from UNHCR says the number of refugees from the region is likely to increase in the coming days as there are reports of more clashes and houses being set ablaze.

"The violence seems to be really awful. Razing and burning of villages. People are arriving wounded. Many people have been killed but we don’t have the exact numbers. The area they are arriving in Chad is very very remote. They've left with nothing, there is no water, no food sleeping under trees, there is risk of disease. There is no infrastructure in this place. No health center etc. we are rushing to develop a refugee camp to serve their needs as best as possible also working with the Chadian government and also local partners."

Since 2003, over 300,000 Sudanese refugees have crossed the border into neighbouring Chad.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

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