INTRODUCTION: Life is slowly returning to normal in N'djamena, the capital of the central African country of Chad.
N'DJAMENA, CHAD (VISNEWS - ERIC BOURBOTTE)
SV PULL BACK TO GV & PAN FROM Shell-scarred building TO traders and people on
banks of River Chari
SV ZOOM TO CU Market stall selling vegetables
CU PAN FROM Crate of Cola TO produce being unloaded from boats
SV "Chambre de Commerce" huts and people doing business
SV & CU People taking produce from beach towards N'djamena. (3 SHOTS)
GV & SV People wheeling barrows of goods in N'djamena streets. (2 SHOTS)
LV EXTERIOR Bullet-scarred buildings
SV PAN Two soldiers ride through streets of N'djamena on motorbike
Background: INTRODUCTION: Life is slowly returning to normal in N'djamena, the capital of the central African country of Chad. Thousands of refugees who fled to the Cameroon during Chad's civil war are returning to their homeland. The city's population has doubled to 300,000 and trade between Chad and Cameroon, which is across the River Chari from N'djamena, had enjoyed a resurgence in recent weeks.
SYNOPSIS: The evidence of fighting is still visible in the commercial centre of the capital, where houses and shops are bullet-scarred. The civil reportedly ended last December when Libyan troops joined forces with Chad Army to quell opposition from former Defence Minister Hissene Habre and his Armed Forces of the North (FAN). The Libyans have withdrawn from Chad, on the request of the Chadian President Goukouni Oueddei and will be replaced by six-nation African peacekeeping force.
The marketplace of N'djamena is a hive of activity again as the city's traders re-assemble after months of fighting. N'djamena itself was the scene of several pitched battles, which wreaked havoc on the city's population, commerce and buildings. Goods are brought in from the Cameroon to N'djamena's markets in canoe ferries whose previous cargo has been refugees. Fresh food is again available and meat processing works have resumed business in N'djamena. As the situation improves, the number of refugees returning to the city's increases. United Nations and Cameroon refugee aid organisations are helping the Chadians return to their country. The Chad government has requested -- and got -- extensive international aid for its refugees.
Thousands are returning to shell-scarred N'djamena from several countries. A refugee camp which at one time was home for more than 200, 000 people in northern Cameroon, is to be relocated in N'djamena.
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