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A Call for Protection of Civilians as Chad Crisis Deepens; Humanitarian Assistance Must Be Restored for Darfurian Refugees and Chadian Civilians

For Immediate Release

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) condemns the violence that has swept through Chad and calls upon all parties to demonstrate restraint, prioritize the protection of civilians, and facilitate humanitarian access. The situation has led to the pull-out of many humanitarian organizations and has vastly restricted the ability of those who remain to operate in the region. PHR is deeply concerned for the welfare of both Chadian civilians and Darfurian refugees. Approximately 180,000 internally displaced Chadians and over two hundred thousand Darfurian refugees are at risk of violence, starvation and disease.

"The international community cannot ignore this crisis as it further destabilizes a volatile region. PHR is extremely concerned about the half a million displaced civilians who are now largely without humanitarian aid and basic protection," said Frank Donaghue, Chief Executive Officer of PHR. "The UN, EU, AU and other stakeholders must ensure that the most vulnerable people in the region do not suffer further."

The instability in Chad further obstructs the full deployment of the UN-AU peacekeeping force for Darfur (UNAMID) and the European Union Force (EUFOR) for Chad. These two international forces are intended to offer protection to civilians fleeing the conflict in Darfur. PHR urges the international community to develop a comprehensive regional strategy to ensure the protection of civilians, the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid, and respect for international humanitarian law by all sides.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

Media Contact

Kevin Short

Deputy Director, Media & Communications1.917.679.0110

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