September 5, 2005
In the last three months, at least 10,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) have crossed the border into Chad. The exodus began in June when new fighting between the CAR government and rebels broke out in an area near the Chad border. In early August "bandit groups" began attacking villages in northeastern CAR. That sent another 4,000 refugees into Chad. However, some refugees reported that the "bandits wore uniforms." Some 30,000 CAR refugees were already in Chad, having fled fighting in 2002 and the 2003 civil war. That means approximately 40,000 CAR refugees are now in Chad.
In addition to the armed attacks on civilians, heavy rains in CAR have caused flood and left at least 20,000 people homeless. But this catastrophe is not believed to have sent many people fleeing into Chad. The ongoing violence in CAR appears to be the aftereffects of a 2003 coup attempt. The attempt failed, but left thousands of undefeated rebels, and bandits that police and the army cannot eliminate. It also appears that soldiers and police are taking part in the violence as well.