Earlier today we received distressing news that hundreds of people have been forcibly evicted in the African country of Chad. Schools and residential areas were demolished and many of those evicted are now sleeping under trees as there is nowhere else to go. Those who tried to resist the eviction were seriously beaten and sustained injuries. This eviction is particularly worrying as the community had previously been given assurances from the local Mayor that they would be allowed enough time to find alternative accommodation.
Please consider how you would feel if someone demolished your home when you had been assured that you'd be given time to find alternative accommodation.
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Residents of Sabangali neighbourhood
Over 670 people have been forcibly evicted and their homes destroyed in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, to enable the construction of a hotel to take place. This is despite reassurances from the local Mayor that they would be allowed enough time to find alternative accommodation. The former residents of the site are now sleeping under nearby trees.
On 24 January Chadian authorities carried out forced evictions in Sabangali, , the capital of Chad. At least 62 compounds, where over 670 people lived, were destroyed as well as a local community school frequented by 138 students. The homes and other structures were destroyed by municipal officials to pave the way for the construction of a modern hotel. Many of those evicted are now sleeping under trees near the site of their former homes as they have no alternative place to live. Neither compensation nor alternative housing has been offered to them by the government. The destruction of the community school compromises local children’s right to education.
In November 2011, municipal officials accompanied by the police had painted white crosses on houses in the neighbourhood and informed residents that they should leave their homes. On 12 January, the Mayor of N’Djamena and the government Minister for Internal Security visited the site and asked residents to leave. On 23 January, municipal officials informed residents that they would be evicted the following day. That same day, residents gained assurance from the Mayor that they will be allocated enough time to remove their belongings and for discussions concerning alternative housing and access to education to take place. However the forced eviction took place in spite of these assurances and many residents did not have time to retrieve their belongings.
During the demolition the neighbourhood was cordoned off by soldiers and police who told residents to quickly remove their belongings before bulldozers began destroying their houses. Most of the residents were at work or absent. A group of young boys resisted the destruction of their houses and were seriously beaten. Another man was wounded and taken to hospital. Some residents who tried to photograph the demolition had their cameras destroyed. Some of the residents of Sabangali have been living there for over 30 years. Others have official documents for their homes having bought the land from local chiefs.
Please write immediately in French, Arabic or your own language:
* Calling on authorities to immediately find alternative housing for the victims of forced eviction in Sabangali;
* Asking them to ensure that students of the Sabangali Community school are transferred to other nearby schools;
* Urging them to identify and develop comprehensive relocation and compensation plans for the residents;
* Urging the Chadian authorities to immediately end the ongoing forced evictions and adopt clear Guidelines for evictions which comply with international standards.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 14 MARCH 2012 TO: (Time difference = GMT + 1 hrs / BST as UK)
President of the Republic of Chad
Monsieur Idriss Deby
Président de la République
Présidence de la République
Salutation: Dear President
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