Hundreds of Sudanese refugees fleeing fighting in the Darfur region have been relocated away from the volatile Chad-Sudan border to a safer site in eastern Chad. On Monday, a second convoy of some 240 people left Ouendalou border site for the new camp at Farchana, 55 km away. They joined the first group of 148 people who had left on Saturday.

At least nine people have died from an outbreak of acute gastro-enteritis in Moundou, the main town in southern Chad, following the breakdown of its water works which has led people to drink polluted water from wells and the local river, the Ministry of Health said in a statement. The ministry said 90 people had fallen ill with acute diarrhoea and vomiting since the town's main water pumping station broke down in late December.

An emergency team from the UN refugee agency visiting the Chad-Sudan border has heard reports of killing and looting in western Sudan, and witnessed poor living conditions for thousands of Sudanese refugees in Chad. On 8 January 2004, the UNHCR team concluded a two-day mission to the north-eastern Birak area, where they visited the site of Djoran, 15 km from the Sudanese border. They found thousands of refugees (estimates range from 4,000 to 8,000) living in precarious conditions after more

The government of Chad signed a fresh peace agreement on Sunday with the rebel Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDJT), which has been fighting a low-level guerrilla war against President Idriss Deby in the desert north of the country since 1998. The deal was signed in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, by Chad's Minister for Security and Immigration, Aduramane Moussa, and General Adoum Togoi Abbo, the chairman of the MDJT.

A human rights association, The Ligue Centrafricaine des Droits de l’Homme [LCDH], has asked the transitional government of Francois Bozize to repatriate armed Chadian forces, whom it described as mercenaries, over their alleged involvement in human rights abuses in the capital, Bangui. The group claim that the Chadian "mercenaries", who supported Bozize in his six-month rebellion against former President Ange-Felix Patasse, were responsible for human right abuses and insecurity prevailing more