BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 February 2008, 15:50 GMT
Chad refugee's gruelling escape
Thousands of Chadians have been fleeing the fighting in Chad's capital, N'Djamena, to neighbouring countries. Mohammed [not his real name] told the BBC from the northern Nigerian city of Kano about his escape.

Chadian refugees (Screen grab)
Many people are leaving Chad for neighbouring countries

I lived with my family in a suburb in the north of N'Djamena. We had heard news of the rebels on the radio but we hadn't been paying that much attention to what was going on.

Then at the weekend I heard a lot of gun shots - at first I thought it was just military exercises by the Chadian army but then I realised it was real fighting.

On Sunday, I saw men who were heavily armed coming towards the house. I think they were rebels.

I heard the sound of gun shots which was terrifying.

I ran to the window at the back of the building and managed to escape through it. I left my mother and father in the house. I ran and did not turn back.

I don't know whether to cry or kill myself

I saw some other people I knew and managed to get a lift with them in one of their cars.

We saw a lot of fighting. Rebels were killing and shooting people. It was really dangerous.


Eventually we reached an abandoned building where many people were hiding. We managed to speak to someone who found us a lorry that was travelling south towards Nigeria.


I had to pay a lot of money for the journey.

There were 18 of us on board, so it was packed and very hot.

The lorry had to avoid places were it might have been attacked by rebels.

At one point the lorry had to try to get through very dense forest. At other times we had to push the vehicle as it moved from one pot hole to another.

Eventually we got to the border with Nigeria. We crossed over into Adamawa State. The immigration officer wanted a bribe to let us through.

The whole journey took two days. I am now in Kano but have no money left and don't have my documents.

Family killed

I don't know what to do.

I telephoned my friend in N'Djamena and he told me that my mother, my father and my fiancee had all been shot.

I don't know whether to cry or kill myself.

I have not slept for two days. I don't know what to do here in Nigeria and don't know how anything works. It is very hard.

I would love to go back to Chad because that is my home.

If I had the means to go back I would. But I'm worried that I could get killed.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific