Khartoum — The UN Refugee Agency has started the relocation of some 14,000 refugees, who fled the Central African Republic (CAR) for Um Dafug in South Darfur to El Mashaga, which is a better site further away from the border.
Living conditions near the CAR border were harsh and refugee men, women and children were exposed to the elements in an area that was difficult to reach by humanitarian actors, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported in its Sudan Flash Update on Monday.
El Mashaga site was prepared by UNHCR, the Sudanese government's Commissioner for Refugees (COR) and other partners, including World Vision International.
The new site has a water supply and is located closer to basic services such as health facilities. It is also easier to reach in the rainy season when dirt tracks in areas near the border cannot be used.
So far, the first 1200 men, women and children have arrived safely in El Mashaga where they received non-food items such as blankets and shelter material. Keeping Covid-19 guidelines such as physical distancing in place, fewer refugees were carried on the busses than normal.
Refugees from CAR started arriving in Um Dafug locality since October last year. Radio Dabanga reported in December that Um Dafug received more than 13,000 refugees from CAR since July, because of continuing inter-tribal fighting in their home areas.
Estimated total of refugees in Sudan by the end of 2020 (UNHCR)
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