GENEVA, Switzerland, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- The U.N. refugee agency warns insecurity in eastern Chad is making it impossible for humanitarian workers to come to the assistance of refugees.
"The U.N. high commissioner for refugees is profoundly concerned about the unrelenting insecurity throughout eastern Chad and the precarious conditions in which literally hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees from Darfur and internally displaced Chadians fear for their lives," said UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond Friday.
The agency is also concerned about reports that all sides of the conflict are attempting to recruit refugees to fight, Redmond said.
"We have approached Chadian authorities and the refugees themselves to stress the urgent need to maintain the civilian character of camps," he added.
Fighting between Chadian anti-government forces and the Chadian army in the town of Adre left about a dozen civilians dead and at least 40 wounded Thursday, Redmond said.
The heavy fighting forced all nearby aid agencies to remain at their bases. As a result, agencies did not have access to three refugee camps which together house about 62,000 Sudanese refugees from the neighboring Darfur region.
"We have decided to temporarily relocate some of our staff in Guereda until the situation calms down," Redmond said, describing scenes of bloodshed.
"Dozens of wounded combatants have reportedly been evacuated to the hospital in Guereda. Several days ago, a couple of local children playing with unexploded ordnance they had come across suffered major injuries, requiring amputation of their legs," he added.
There are 230,000 Sudanese refugees and 110,000 internally displaced persons in eastern Chad as well as 46,000 refugees from the Central African Republic in the south.