Heavy rain fell for just 45 minutes yesterday in the Abeche area of eastern Chad and one UNHCR team had to stop travelling on one side of a seasonally dry riverbed, or “wadi,” because of the sudden rushing waters.The team was soon joined by other UNHCR staff members, returning to Abeche from Farchana camp, who walked from the other side of the wadi after abandoning their vehicle to avoid having it sink into mud and water.”This signals the sort of challenges we’re going to face as the rainy season sets in,” said UNHCR spokeswoman Jennifer Pagonis at a news briefing in Geneva, adding, “In a matter of weeks, many of the roads in eastern Chad will become impassable because of the rains.”The refugee agency has been transferring some 125,000 refugees who fled strife-torn Darfur in western Sudan deep into eastern Chad, away from the frontier area where Sudanese government-backed Janjaweed militia have stolen their livestock in cross-border raids. It has moved 75,000 people so far.The situation is especially urgent as the cross-border attacks have continued, UNHCR said. Gunfire was heard near the border village of Haraza, near Tissi, on Monday night. Chadian soldiers said that as they responded to the shooting, they pushed back what appeared to be a group of Sudanese militia trying to cross over into Chad.

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