Chad

Hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people living in eastern Chad, including more than 450,000 Sudanese refugees from Darfur and internally displaced Chadians, are at risk if the UN mission in Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) leaves or no longer has a mandate to protect civilians.

In a remote southern part of Chad, the UNHCR began this week the transfer of some 1,100 newly arrived Central African refugees from the border to a refugee camp where they can be assisted. These refugees crossed into southern Chad's Moyen Chari province two weeks ago, after violence forced them from villages in northern Central African Republic (CAR).

Chad's government says the army has killed 105 insurgents and beaten back a new attack near the Sudan border, but the rebels have denied the claims. FPNR leader Adoum Yacoub said both sides had lost lives but did not give any details.

For the two decades that he has been free, Souleymane Guengueng has constantly relived the two years he spent in a Chadian prison, where he watched hundreds of cellmates die from torture and disease. Thrown in jail in 1988 for still-unknown reasons, the deeply religious civil servant took an oath before God: If he ever got out alive, he would bring his tormentors to justice.

Nearly a fifth of the population in Chad will suffer food shortages this year, part of a broader hunger problem looming in the Sahel region, the United Nations said on Thursday. "Two million Chadians, or 18 percent of the population, are in a situation of food insecurity," said Michele Flavigna, the U.N.'s representative in Chad told a news conference.

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