News from Chad

Trip Start Feb 02, 2008
1
2
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Trip End May 03, 2008


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Flag of Chad  ,
Sunday, February 3, 2008

3/2
I have obviously not gone to Chad today ... tho this says it is FROM Chad !
I thought you might be interested in an update from a colleague on how the team here have been v occupied this last few days with trying to get the members of the Chad team who are in Ndjamena right now to safety. Very reminiscent of my time in Ethiopia in 1990/1 during "the change", but i didn't get evacuated !

Update from 2/2
Ndjamena:
General situation:
In the middle of the morning rebel troops entered N'djamena and engaged in combat with government troops near the parliament and the presidential palace. The shots from heavy artillery (which made the doors shake) could be heard from our guesthouse where we have had 4 international staff there for the past two days. It is not clear who controls the town, but Rebels seem to have the upper hand. Rebel tanks have been seen patroling the city.
The RC and the team in Abeche maintain regular telephone contact (through the still-functioning land-line) with the team in NDJ.
The first evacuations that were planned by the UN and France could not happen because of the increase in hostilities. For the moment, the instructions are for people to not leave their homes. The information which has been broadcast in the media reports that the rebels promised not to attack foreigners or the French army.
Security situation for our staff:
The 4 staff are at the "French School" compound and registered. They will all be evacuated including the 2 non european (visa application is being filed).


Update for 3/2
Ndjamena:
General situation:
Rebels are in control of the whole city, except the presidential palace where President Deby is still protected by the Presidential Guard forces. The rebels and the government troups are still fighting around the Presidential Palace. France has offered the president to be exfiltrated out of the country but the president has not taken the offer.
Security situation for our staff:
Our 4 international staff (Ruth, Sylvain, John and Didier) have been evacuated to Libreville, Gabon. The are expected to be flown into Paris today. They all have required papers (visas) to land in Paris.
From Paris, Sylvain will carry on to his home (in France); the other three will fligh to Dakar where they will have some rest and care before they resume their work from the new working base in the Reg Mngmnt Cntr office.

Abeche and Goz Beida:
General situation:
The situation in Abeche and Goz Beida were quiet.
Security situation for our staff:
In Abeche:
International staff are hibernating in house number 1 (in the same compound as the office).
The evacuation point is the French military base and the French Army has stated that they would allow in all international staff based in Abeche.
For the moment, the team in Abeche is ready to move to the French base or another assembly if necessary.
In Goz Beida:
No plans to relocate the team from Goz Beida.
The work continues in camps, under usual security measures.
Evacuation from Goz Beida when required would be by the road to Abeche. A convoy would be organised (plans being refined) by the UNHCR with all the international organisations working in goz beida.

Few actions

1. Relocation of the staff to dakar: Ludovic to work with the administration i) to set up a "chad working station" in RMC; ii) to organise the flight for Ruth, John and Didier to Dakar (including landing visa for Didier
2. Bryan to work with Martin K in staff health/UK to ensure counselling support is available for Sylvain in France and for the team relocated to Dakar.
3. Ismaila to draft a press release on i) successful evacuation of te team in Ndjamena, ii) negative impact of the ongoing violence in Ndjamena, the only supply route for the humanitarian programmes in eastern Chad.
4. The team in Abeche, to work on a medium term plan (1 month from now), based on the fact that the current fighting in Ndjamena is going to slow/cut humanitarian supplies and therefore have an impact on the well being of the staff and the programme activities. The team are asked to consider the stock available to them and respond to the following question?: how long the programme delivery related stock will last, how many staff would be needed to deliver on those activities?
To date, the only air evacuation point in the eastern chad is Abeche. It is therefore important to have as many staff as possible in Abeche instead of Gbeida. This may need to reduce the team on the ground in Goz Beida.
What is asked to the team in Abeche is a plan for the next month on staff and activities (for tuesday and I know you are already working on it), considering that the supply routes from Ndjamena may be disrupted for some time.
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