16 May 2014

Amnesty International has called on the Chadian government to revise its decision to close the borders with Central African Republic (CAR) in order to guarantee a lifeline to refugees fleeing the worsening ethnically-motivated violence.

On 11 May, the Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno, announced that the border with CAR would be sealed to everyone “until the crisis in [the country] is resolved”, with the exception of returning Chadian citizens and their personal belongings.

According to Amnesty International, since December 2013 more than 360,000 people have left CAR to seek protection from war crimes and crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing, in neighbouring countries.

Christian Mukosa, Amnesty’s International’s Researcher on Central Africa, stated: “President Déby has slammed the door in the face of refugees arriving from CAR, condemning them to continued suffering. He must reverse this decision and the international community must do more to support the tens of thousands of refugees from CAR who have fled to Chad”.

Valerie Amos, UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, during her visit to Chad called for more efforts to be made to assist and support refugees from CAR who have sought protection within Chadian borders.

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This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 16 May 2014.
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