MSF team attacked in Koukou, eastern Chad

On the night of Saturday, Nov 24, a group of armed men broke into the MSF compound in Koukou, a town 180 kms south of Abeche in eastern Chad. The armed men used their weapons to threaten the MSF team and hit them. Shots were also fired into the air. The assailants stole the money from the safe, took telecommunications material and the MSF car which they used to flee. This violent attack follows another aggression which occurred six days earlier, when armed men broke into the MSF office in Koukou and beat two MSF guards in an attempt to steal the safe. Following this latest violent attack, MSF has decided to temporarily suspend its activities in Koukou. MSF had been working there since April 2007, providing assistance to 30,000 displaced people. Three MSF volunteers and 15 members of the Chadian team have left Koukou. Four volunteers remain in order to ensure the transfer of hospitalised patients, and to distribute rations for the malnourished children who were followed in ambulatory care. Depending on the development of the situation, a new team of four people may replace the team which left Koukou. The MSF team working in Dogdore has also been reduced from 25 to 10 people. Eastern Chad has been the theatre of armed fighting since the end of 2005. Today, insecurity remains high in the region. Instability around Koukou is due to multiple factors, including common crime, the presence of armed rebel groups and government armed forces. Additionally, these past few days fighting has reignited between rebel groups and government forces in the east of Abeche, particularly around Hadjer Hadid