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Chad: ICRC responds to recent fighting in the east

29-05-2009 Operational Update

Heavy fighting between the Chadian army and armed opposition groups took place in eastern areas bordering Sudan at the beginning of May. The ICRC has delivered emergency aid to all victims – military or civilian – in particular, to wounded and detained people.

   
  ©ICRC / M.Succi / V-P-TD-E-00580    
 
An ICRC delegate explains to prison guards in N'Djamena the goal of the organization's visits to security detainees.    
       
  ©ICRC / M.Succi / V-P-TD-E-00584    
 
This tent, adjascent to an infirmary run by the national security forces, was set up by the ICRC for the treatment of light injuries.    
      

Since the outbreak of hostilities, the ICRC has:

● delivered medicines and other medical items to military and civilian medical facilities at Am Dam (the site of the bloodiest battle), Goz Beida, Abéché and N'Djamena to enable them to treat people wounded in the fighting. Four tents for casualty management were set up at N'Djamena's military hospital and gendarmerie barracks;

● transferred 20 wounded civilians and hors de combat fighters to health-care centres;

● performed emergency surgery on or otherwise treated 70 seriously wounded people thanks to its surgery team (a surgeon, an anaesthetist and two nurses);

● mobilized first-aid volunteers of the Red Cross of Chad to help nursing staff in N'Djamena medical facilities as soon as casualties began to arrive. Forty volunteers continue to work at the military hospital and gendarmerie barracks;

● visited over 240 detainees in order to monitor their treatment and conditions of detention and if necessary make recommendations for improvements to the detaining authorities, provided care for wounded detainees and supplied prisoners with sleeping mats, buckets, cooking pots and soap during the very first hours of their custody;

● recommended to the competent authorities and organizations that explosive remnants of war be cleared from areas where fighting took place as soon as possible, and raised awareness among those most at risk of the dangers p osed by the lethal debris, so as to avoid accidents – especially involving children;

● distributed emergency supplies (clothing, tarpaulins, blankets, sleeping mats, buckets, metal pails, kitchen utensils and soap) to 160 people whose houses or other possessions were destroyed in the fighting, and started assessing whether other people need similar aid;

● prepared to repair the laboratory and roof of the hospital in Am Dam, which were damaged by shelling.

 
For further information, please contact:
  Marco Succi, ICRC N'Djamena, tel: +235 2520 316 or +235 6201 005
  Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17