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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 May 2006, 23:52 GMT 00:52 UK
Chad refugee crisis 'overlooked'
Sudanese refugees in Chad
The refugee crisis in Chad is fuelled by the conflict in Sudan
The world is overlooking the plight of refugees in eastern Chad, some 200,000 of which are from neighbouring Sudan's Darfur region, the UN says.

The UN's humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said a fraction of the funds needed to feed the refugees had been raised.

He said Chad's refugee crisis had been "overshadowed" by events in Darfur.

The Darfur conflict has killed some 200,000 people and created 2m refugees. Many have fled to Chad, to be joined by Chadians fleeing internal unrest.

Touring refugee camps in eastern Chad, near the border with Sudan, Mr Egeland told the Reuters news agency the security situation in the region had descended into "total chaos".

Aid agencies estimate they need $180m to feed the refugees in eastern Chad.

"Only 16% of the humanitarian funds required to feed these people has been met so far," Mr Egeland is quoted as saying.

UN offer

Eastern Chad has seen a recent influx of refugees from within the country, fleeing fighting between the government and rebels seeking to overthrow it.

Other Chadian refugees in the area have claimed they have been attacked by Janjaweed militia who have crossed the border from Sudan.

The pro-Khartoum Janjaweed has been blamed for much of the violence against civilians in Darfur, in a campaign classed by the US as genocide.

Khartoum denies backing the Janjaweed, which has been launching retaliatory attacks since Darfur rebel groups took up arms against the government three years ago.

The US, UK and African Union last week brokered a peace deal between the Sudanese government and some of the Darfur rebel forces.

Mr Egeland was visiting Chad after talks with Sudanese officials, whom he has urged to accept a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur.

Khartoum says it needs more time to assess the offer.


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