The number of refugees who have fled to Chad to escape fighting in the Darfur area of western Sudan could be as high as 200,000, nearly double the official estimate of 110,000, Refugees International reports. The sharply higher figure is based on the observations of Refugees International advocates in Chad, as well as informal estimates by the United Nations.

A team from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) arrived in a Chadian border town to verify reports of new refugees from Sudan's western region of Darfur arriving since the beginning of the month, the UNHCR said on Tuesday. Ron Redmond, a UNHCR spokesman in Geneva, said "local authorities estimate that each week some 200 to 300 people have been crossing the border from Darfur into Chad since the beginning of the month".

A team from the United Nations refugee agency has arrived in a Chadian border town to verify reports that 200 to 300 Sudanese refugees have been crossing weekly from the Darfur region into Chad since the beginning of April, an agency spokesman said.

More than a decade after ExxonMobil - then Exxon - decided to develop the oil fields under this landlocked country of Sahara Desert and grassland, Chad's 9 million people wait expectantly. In Chad, the oil receipts that have begun to flow to the government in recent months are to be managed publicly, with 80 percent of them dedicated to pay for schools, clinics, roads and other basic human needs. Years of campaigning by Western and Chadian human rights and environmental groups forced the more

Chadian troops have successfully crossed into Darfur, western Sudan, to rescue cattle stolen by Sudanese militias known as Janjawid, according to UN sources. In the last couple of days, Chadian soldiers had crossed into Gogei, Western Darfur, to collect the cattle, following an agreement signed last week between presidents Idriss Deby of Chad and Umar al-Bashir of Sudan, sources told IRIN. The agreement allowed Chadian soldiers to cross into Sudanese territory to chase away "rebels", but more