Iriba (هريبا) town is part of the Kobe department and has a prefecture and an area court. Iriba has a desert climate with two distinct periods; dry and rainy seasons. During rainy season, considerable amounts of rainfall occur in the area which disappears rapidly in the seasonal rivers named Wadi. The winters (December till February) can be quite cold while the summer time is extremely hot and dry. Water shortage is a chronic problem in the area.
The ethnicity of the people in Iriba is Zaghawa. The ethnic group lives on the two sides of the border in Chad and Sudan. The local language is Zaghawa which is not related to the formal languages of Arabic and French in Chad. Zaghawas have their traditional leadership under the Sultan of Zaghawa.
A large number of the refugees fled from Darfour area to the vicinity of Iriba in 2004. The refugees are mainly from the same ethnicity and live in three big refugee camps in the area; namely Iridimi, Touloum and Amnabak. The three camps accommodate over sixty thousand refugees. The refugee influx required extensive international presence for assistance and protection of the displaced population. UNHCR is the leading international agency in the area while WFP and many other NGOs help with different aspect of life for the refugees.