Multiple refugees escaping conflict in the West Darfur region have fallen victim to an armed ambush set by militant groups near the border with Chad, leading to an unknown number of casualties and missing persons. Meanwhile, Chad’s president surveyed the conditions of the thousands of Sudanese refugees fleeing from El-Geneina, in the Chadian region of Adré, on Saturday.
Saturday’s ambush targeted individuals fleeing the war in the city of El-Geneina, close to the Chad border. An armed trap was reported in the Shakri region on the way to Chad, with 16 vehicles managing to reach safety while 14 were lost. 600 people who were on foot also reached safety.
It has been estimated that about 22,000 individuals were headed towards Chad, while around 35,000 people were moving towards the Adré region, where there is an army camp. The route between El-Geneina city and the Chadian Adré region, approximately 40 kilometers from the Sudanese border, is riddled with a significant number of Arab tribal militias. These groups are perpetrating widespread violations against those fleeing the war, committing ethnically motivated murder and looting their assets.
Chadian media reported that President Mohamed Déby arrived in Adré to assess the situation of the Sudanese people fleeing from the war in El-Geneina and to gauge the security conditions on the border with Sudan.
Since last April, Chad closed its borders with Sudan in line with the start of the war between the army and the Rapid Support Forces. However, Chad has not prevented refugees from entering, fleeing the sectarian violence witnessed in the city of El-Geneina, the capital of West Darfur.
Violence with tribal undertones began on April 23rd in the border state, following battles between the army and the Rapid Support Forces. El-Geneina subsequently fell under the control of armed militias. These militias face accusations of fueling the displacement of the city’s inhabitants after targeting them on an ethnic basis.