Following on the theme for World Refugee Day (June 20), we decided to take on that general theme for our trip: Protection. We were to focus on what protection means to the millions of displaced, and, when visiting the camps, show how the refugees feel about protection in the camps and back home. As with our trip in February, a lot of our attention has been re-directed to our own protection.
Since we arrived in Abeche, the main town in Eastern Chad, the rebel offensive has disrupted humanitarian aid throughout the region. It has also kept us in Abeche. We are keeping an eye out on N’Djamena, knowing that it is the main goal for the rebels, but it is also our way out of the country.
Yesterday, Abeche prepared for the rebels. The market was closed; children were taken out of school; aid worker were under curfew. It is morning now, the time that rebels usually attack, and all is quiet, so far.
The team is doing well. We are staying informed and looking at our options. We are close to French and EUFOR bases, which would be the place to go, if the rebels do come. We are all losing some weight, but getting enough to not go hungry. It’s the Chad diet. I have always lost between 10 and 15 pounds during my different trips.
At UNHCR, Suzanne was been more than wonderful, keeping us well informed and helping our spirits with her positive energy. We are still waiting to see Bouba, our translator. I am sure that, as soon as he sees it’s safe, he will come with driver to Abeche. We want to see him back here. He knows everyone here, and I’m sure it’s where he wants to be. We are less concerned about our supplies and panels that are in the car with him, but it would be nice to have some more changes of clothes, more options on food, and the tiles that refuse to be pinned down to be taken to the US.
Thank you all for the positive notes in your comments. Please keep them coming. We will let you know how things continue out here. Let’s hope for peace and protection for all the people in Chad, Darfur, Sudan, and the entire region.
5 replies on “Update from Abeche – Tuesday 17 June – 7:49am”
Hi Gabriel and friends,
I can only speak for myself but once again I am deeply moved and inspired by your presence among the people of Darfur. Even if you are not in the camps, you are there in Chad taking risks to be with them. And in being there you are helping me feel a sense of connectedness with them in this time of misery and danger. You are allowing me to open my eyes a little more and open my heart a little more so I can see that we are one people. By being there with the people of Darfur, you are showing me that there are no borders or distances that can diminish the truth of our connectedness. Turning away destroys people in a deeper way than genocide. It destroys their humanity. From the stories and pictures you have sent we can see for ourselves that violence doesn’t necessarily destroy people’s humanity. Children can still smile and laugh. Parents can still love their children and endure the unbearable for the sake of their children’s future. Old men can still dream dreams. Our hearts are with you. God bless you. Timoteo
We at home are constantly refreshed and emboldened by our friends in the field who risk their own safety so that the world can hear the truth of what is happening to our African brothers and sisters. As a person of faith, I pray for the effectiveness and safety of your mission. Blessings, Linda H.
Thank you for you words of support and for being active within the movement. We are on our way out but committed to doing more.
As I read the new Save Darfur report and hear your reports back from the situation in Chad, I grow more frustrated than I have ever been. When will there be true, viable protection for the people of Darfur…AND Chad!??!
I hope you are all hanging in there and hope even more stongly that one day soon, all of these things we continually discuss will materialize.
We are hanging in there and look forward to talking and planning with you, Pam, and your HRW STFrs about how we can be more effective in being advocates for the people that keep feeling the brunt of the chaos and instability being brought about by men with ambitions that might have no connection with what is best for all.