Local judges in eastern Chad receive UN training to combat impunity

10 December 2009 – The United Nations has started a programme to train local judges in eastern Chad in a bid to end impunity in a strife-torn region where conflicts have erupted between refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities.

The first training session for 60 people in Abéché will last four weeks and seeks to make up for the lack of professional magistrates in the field of community justice in eastern Chad, where 256,700 Sudanese refugees from the Darfur conflict, 168,000 Chadian IDPs and around 150,000 people in host villages live in close proximity.

Overall the scheme, run by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Mission in Chad and the Central African Republic (MINURCAT), aims to train 148 local officials.

At the beginning of the month, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that increased banditry, kidnappings of relief workers and attacks on humanitarian compounds in the region were threatening crucial aid for nearly 100,000 people.

Ethnic tensions and humanitarian needs in eastern Chad have been exacerbated by the nearly seven-year war in neighbouring Darfur pitting the Sudanese Government and its militia allies against rebels seeking greater autonomy.

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