The three-month-old conflict in Chad is showing no signs of lessening.
GV PAN Refugees around border river between Chad and Cameroon. (Kousseri Region)
LV Refugees swimming and washing in river.
SV & CU Refugees sitting on mats. (2 SHOTS)
SV Refugees seated near cooking area. (2 SHOTS)
SV PAN FROM Children seated on ground eating TO woman hanging washing on line.
SV Bedding and household goods used as temporary shelter.
SV PAN Red Cross aid vehicle outside tent.
SV & CU INTERIOR United Nations representative meeting with state governor and advisors. (3 SHOTS)
LV PAN Refugee tents under trees and Red Cross hut.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva now says that the estimate of 230,000 refugees fleeing from the war in Chad came from the Cameroon government and not from their representatives who still put the figure at 100,000.
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Background: The three-month-old conflict in Chad is showing no signs of lessening. Two thousand people are believed to have died in the fighting between the forces of President Goukouni Oueddei and those of his Defence Minister Hissen Habre. And the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimate that nearly a quarter of a million people have fled from the fighting into the neighbouring republic of Cameroon.
SYNOPSIS: The Chari River represents the boundary between Cameroon and Chad. When this film was shot one hundred thousand refugees had made their way across the almost-dried-up river bed. They were fleeing from nearby N'Djamena, the capital of Chad, where the fighting is heaviest. Prior to the outbreak of the war the population of this region, near the town of Kousseri, was about ten thousand and the massive influx of refugees has placed a severe strain on resources.
The United Nations' World Food Programme has responded by providing emergency food aid worth 800,000 dollars. It will primarily consist of sorghum, maize, milk powder and vegetable oil.
In the heat and humidity of the refugee camp, French officials have established a military field hospital. it treats only the casualties from the Defence Minister's army. The President's forces, who hold the western part of N'Djamena, are treated in a French air base in the city itself. The conflict is so bitter that neither side can cross lines with wounded, even with Red Cross help. The fighting is indiscriminate and misdirected shells have frequently landed amongst these makeshift shelters in Cameroon.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has allocated half a million dollars for the provision of food, tents and water equipment.
But the Commission's representative in Kousseri here meeting with advisors and local officials, now estimates that there are 230,000 refugees in the area. And there is no indication that the conflict in Chad is being resolved. Both sides have pledged to fight to the death and, despite the high casualty rate, neither appears to have gained any ground.