23 August 2005 The head of the United Nations refugee agency began a 10-day mission to Sudan, Chad, and Kenya today with a visit to Khartoum to meet with Sudanese Government ministers and to consult with UN officials on the state of refugee work in the war-torn region.
Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), also plans to visit some of the camps which now house hundreds of thousands of the more than 6 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled Sudan’s civil strife.
Tomorrow he will fly to West Darfur where he will visit a camp for some of the thousands of displaced people in the province, then on Thursday he will travel to two refugee camps in eastern Chad to speak with Government leaders.
He will then head off to southern Sudan to look at preparations for the returning refugees, which include school and hospital rehabilitation and land mine removal, that follow an agreement in January ending a 21-year civil war.
People fleeing that war streamed into Uganda, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Central African Republic (CAR), Egypt and Eritrea, while some 200,000 refugees from strife-torn Sudan’s Darfur region have poured into 12 camps in eastern Chad.