Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 August 2014, 14:37 GMT

First group of refugees leave Chad for new lives in US - UN

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 23 June 2009
Cite as UN News Service, First group of refugees leave Chad for new lives in US - UN, 23 June 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4a572bb8a.html [accessed 21 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

As part of a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) programme, the first group of refugees has left Chad to begin new lives in the United States.

The 11 refugees are the first of a total of 1,800 resettlement cases - mostly Sudanese refugees from the war-torn Darfur region living in camps in eastern Chad - the agency plans to identify this year.

The group - who are heading for Kentucky, Texas, Iowa and Utah - which departed for the US by air from the Chadian capital N'Djamena on 21 June comprise refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR).

Currently, 250,000 refugees from Darfur are sheltering in 12 UNHCR-run camps in Chad's east. Additionally, 70,000 CAR refugees are living in five camps in southern Chad.

The US is the first country to promote resettlement for refugees in Chad, the agency said.

"Resettlement requires a very meticulous process and usually takes seven to nine months per individual case," said UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler.

The process includes interviews, medical screenings, counseling and cultural orientation sessions, and agency staff are trained to detect fraud to ensure they do not select refugees who are not eligible for resettlement.

"Resettlement is considered one of UNHCR's durable solutions for protracted refugee solutions, along with voluntary repatriation and local integration," Mr. Spindler said.

The next group of refugees, made up of mostly people who fled fighting in Darfur, is slated to leave for the US in July.

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