Chad: Renewed attacks threaten IDPs and humanitarian operations

Rising insecurity in eastern Chad has forced Médecins Sans Frontières and Action Contre la Faim to suspend operations in the towns of Dogdoré and Ade and pull out expatriate staff. The towns are home to 36,500 of Chad's 180,000 IDPs. Attacks by armed bandits have been the main cause of insecurity in the region. In 2008, four humanitarian workers have been killed.

The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator has called on the Chadian government to "step up its efforts to improve security conditions in those areas, in the interest of the protection of civilians, so that full-scale humanitarian operations may soon resume". The 3,400 troops of the European Union force (EUFOR) do not operate in many areas including Dogdoré or Ade.

A spokesperson for the Chadian government has played down the threat: "We have not heard of any new incidents and we believe the claim of insecurity is not justified." However, the Sudan Tribune suggests Chadian troops may instead be preparing for confrontations with rebels as the dry season begins.