The first convoy of 147 refugees left Tine on Saturday, bound for a camp at Touloum, about 80 kilometres from the vulnerable Chadian-Sudanese border. A second batch of 225 refugees followed yesterday.The refugees – who fled western Sudan’s Darfur region because of violent civil conflict – are being relocated because their camps near the border have been attacked by armed militias.Late last month the Sudanese section of Tine, which straddles the border, also came under aerial bombardment. Three people were killed in the attack.A staff worker for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today described the scenes at Tine as “apocalyptic…goats and donkeys lying dead as families of refugees hid behind bushes to protect themselves from the wind and sand.”The agency is providing mats, blankets, soap and jerry cans to the refugees arriving in Touloum, as well as 15 days worth of food rations from the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP).Yvan Sturm, the head of UNHCR’s emergency team in the region, said the transfer of the refugees took place under such harsh conditions that the agency had to limit the number of people it could transport. The sandstorms reduced visibility to zero, he said.Over 4,300 refugees registered in and around Tine are designated to be moved to Touloum over the coming days.UNHCR estimates at least 110,000 refugees have left Darfur since fighting erupted last March between the Sudanese Government and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA).Most of the refugees live in rudimentary shelters along the Chadian-Sudanese border, with little protection from the blistering heat of the day and the freezing weather at night. The agency is aiming to relocate as many refugees as possible before the onset of the rainy season in May, when the area’s few roads are likely to become impassable.
The meeting, which will take place in Antalya from 27 to 30 November, will provide an opportunity to showcase share solutions, initiatives and success stories, as well as explore new avenues for collaboration and partnership. “It is about sharing with the spirit of solidarity and with the spirit of finding solutions to similar problems,” said Jorge Chediek, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on South-South Cooperation and Director of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).In an interview with UN News ahead of the Global South-South Development Expo 2017 (GSSD), Mr. Chediek added that South-South cooperation can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs through enhancing productive capacity, facilitating trade and investment, and sharing contextually-appropriate technologies. VIDEO:Jorge Chediek, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on South-South Cooperation, talks to UN News about the upcoming Global Expo that will take place in Antalya, Turkey, from 27 to 30 November.At the same time, he stressed that the SDGs require a global alliance with the engagement of all countries. “South-South should not be seen as a replacement but as a complement to North-South cooperation. It will be an important one because it can produce and it can generate more relevant experiences and more relevant practices for other developing countries.” More than 1,100 participants are expected at the Expo, which will feature over 50 exhibits highlighting cost-effective and replicable solutions to the challenges faced by developing countries. “We have representatives from over 120 countries that will participate in over 35 events and there will be the possibility of establishing lots of partnerships, as a demonstration of the importance South-South cooperation has in the context of the achievement of the Agenda 2030,” said Mr. Chediek.