Cameroon/Chad - A second IOM road convoy carrying 661 stranded migrants has left Cameroon’s border with the Central African Republic (CAR) and arrived in Moundou in southern Chad yesterday. An earlier IOM convoy returned 862 migrants to Moundou last week.
The migrants, who included 604 Chadians and 57 Sudanese, fled to Cameroon to escape the ongoing violence in the CAR. They are among some 10,000 Chadians and other third country nationals who have fled to Cameroon in the past two months and are now seeking IOM help to return home.
The migrants, many of whom are Muslims, reported seeing brutal acts of violence against Muslim communities in Bangui, Carnot and Berberati. Some reported losing family members. Others told of the destruction of their homes and businesses.
Many arrived in Cameroon destitute and slept in the open while waiting for help to return to Chad. Malnutrition on the border is widespread and at least 20 children have reportedly died of hunger-related causes.
IOM medical staff in Moundou also reported a large number of disabled people among the returnees and numerous cases of malaria and respiratory infections. Many people were also in need of psychosocial help to cope with the traumatic events that they had witnessed in the CAR.
The IOM convoys include pre-departure medical and fit for travel checks. IOM also provides food and water during the journey, as well as post-arrival medical screening and care in Moundou.
In Moundou IOM is working to provide shelter and generators to receive the new arrivals before arranging their onward transport to final destinations. Of the 5,276 migrants that IOM has registered in Moundou since December 2013, 3,675 have been provided with onward transport to other destinations.
To date, over 85,000 people including Chadians, third country nationals and people claiming to be CAR nationals have arrived in Chad since December. As the violence continues, more people are expected to flee the CAR into Chad or other neighbouring countries, including Cameroon.
For more information, please contact
Roger Charles Evina
Tel. +237 52 23 46 40
Dr. Qasim Sufi
Tel. +235 62 90 06.