Refugees continue to arrive in the remote village of Daha in south-eastern Chad, fleeing ongoing insecurity in the northern Central African Republic (CAR). A group of 130 CAR refugees reached safety in Chad over the weekend after crossing the river bordering the two countries. The UN have reportedly registeredover 6,800 CAR refugees in two sites near Daha village. A further 2,500 new CAR refugees are staying in the Chadian village of Massambaye, a second entry point about 125 km east of Daha. Both villages are located about a kilometer from the volatile Chad-CAR border. The majority of the recent arrivals are women, children and elderly people. In Daha, refugees told UNHCR they fled Kounde village in northern CAR, where fighting between rebels and government troops continues. They said more people were still hiding in the bush in CAR for fear of being attacked or killed, and were trying to reach safety in Chad. Refugees say they are unwilling to return to their homes at this point due to the ongoing insecurity in northern CAR. There are already 56,000 refugees from the CAR in five camps in southern Chad. In eastern Chad, over 250,000 Sudanese refugees from the Darfur region are hosted in 12 UNHCR-run camps.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced that it needs $1.1 million to address the humanitarian needs of women and children in the Central African Republic. In its report published on 25 March UNICEF stated over 1 million people had been and continue to be affected by violence. The people are said to be in desperate need of emergency food, non food items, medical assistance, water, sanitation and shelter interventions. The report noted that thousands of children require immediate treatment against malnutrition and other infectious diseases. Despite the recent all-inclusive political dialogue held in Bangui on the 8 to 22 December 2008 aimed at restoring calm, the beginning of 2009 has seen an upsurge in violent clashes between the government and rebel forces which has led to an increase in displacement. The recent two-day civil unrest in Bangui, involving protests at the killing of a police commissioner by Presidential Guards in March, is a good example of the speedy deterioration of the security situation which might contribute to the immediate breakdown of an already fragile situation. The formation of new rebel groups such as, the Patriotic Convention for Justice and Peace (CPJP) in January pushes the idea of stability and peace further away from the Central African people.
A rebel group in the Central African Republic said its troops had clashed with army soldiers on 20 March in the country's north. It was reported that the violence lasted for two hours in the northeastern Ndele region. One of the world's poorest countries, the Central African Republic has been racked for years by insecurity, with rebel groups, bandits and government troops blamed for widespread criminal activity. The CPJP rebels recently called for a "political dialogue to end the crisis," and the dissolution of the current government.
Cambodia will contribute troops to U.N. peacekeeping forces in Chad and the Central African Republic, marking the poor Southeast Asian country's second military mission abroad in three years, the prime minister said. The Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen did not specify the number of Cambodian troops or the date of their departure. The decision to send troops to the region was based on a request from U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The United Nations recently took over peacekeeping duties in the both Chad and the Central African Republic. Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said the Cambodian contingent would consist of noncombat forces and would perform only humanitarian duties.
In April 2006, Cambodia sent 135 soldiers to help U.N. peacekeepers clear mines in war-torn Sudan.That same year, Hun Sen rejected U.S. requests for the deployment of Cambodian troops in Iraq. He said he questioned the overall legitimacy of the war in Iraq and that it remained too dangerous for Cambodians to operate there.