Within the last six months, over 60 black-African villages in Chad have been burned and plundered by Janjaweed (Arab militia) forces. Women have been kidnapped, rapped and often disfigured. Mass-grave sites are filled with those who attempt to defend their families and villages with bows and arrows proving to be no match for the Janjaweed's AK-47 assault rifles.
Presently, 12 United Nation sponsored camps in Eastern Chad are overflowing with 230,000 refugees from the neighboring region of Darfur and 115,000 internally displaced persons from within Chad. Eighty-five per cent of these refugees are women and children who have witnessed unthinkable atrocities. In Darfur, an estimated 450,000 people have been killed by violence and disease with 2.5 million forced from their homes. Some of the refugee camps in Eastern Chad and most of their host communities lack clean water and are on the verge of mass starvation due to dwindling food stocks. Incidence of violence and sexual assaults continue to rise forcing humanitarian aid groups and the UN to severely cut-back their efforts to meet this massive need.
All in Eastern Chad are in dire straits and on the edge of a very dark abyss. Without the immediate intervention of an effective international peace keeping force this crisis will only continue to spiral out of control. For more information on this issue, please listen to interviews with Mia Farrow and Chief Ahmad Abbkar located on the photography page of this website. For information on how to get directly involved in this crisis, please visit www.MiaFarrow.org
The images in the galleries (thumbnails on top right) were taken in and around the refugee camps of Eastern Chad during January and February, 2007.