SUDAN WATCH: Janjaweed attack E Chad: French troops step up patrols

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Janjaweed attack E Chad: French troops step up patrols

Today, IRIN reports Chad's Government says Sudanese 'insurgents' killed 36 herders on Monday in East Chad. The report explains eastern Chad has been gripped with tension since the Darfur conflict in western Sudan broke two years ago. Excerpt:
Hostilities have repeatedly spilled across the border into the region where some 200,000 Sudanese refugees are living in camps.

An aid worker in Adre, a border town near the site of Monday's attack, told IRIN that French troops in eastern Chad have recently stepped up patrols in the area after increased activity by armed groups on the Sudanese side.

Chad President Idriss Deby, who initially took office in a coup in 1990 with the backing of Khartoum, has long had to perform a delicate balancing act in eastern Chad, the site of sporadic rebel movements over the last 15 years.
Note also, the report points out that last April, Chad accused Sudan of backing a 3,000-strong rebel force operating on the border and goes on to say:
"Tuesday's government statement said the authorities had contacted the Sudanese embassy in Chad to make known its worry about this grave situation and to invite the Sudanese government to take the necessary measures at its borders from where these insurgents came. A delegation of government ministers and military leaders left N'djamena for the border area on Tuesday afternoon."
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Chad says Sudanese insurgents killed 36 herders in East

The above IRIN report says a group of unidentified armed men in military uniform crossed into Chad from Sudan early on Monday, killing 36 herders and stealing livestock. Excerpt:
"The Chadian government said, in a statement on Tuesday, the attack took place in the village of Madayouna in the Ouaddai region of eastern Chad.

"The riposte by the armed forces stationed in the region was rapid," the statement said.

Seven of the assailants were killed and eight detained, one of whom later died in detention, it added. Two Chadian soldiers were killed and five injured."
Chad-Sudan border

Photo: Chad's camel guards patrol on the Sudan-Chad border in Abulu Kore (Darfur), Eastern Chad, in 2004. (AFP/Thomas Coex/Yahoo)
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Darfur rebels blame Janjaweed for attacks in Chad

AFP reports 50 [not 36] people [where do they get such information?] were killed in eastern Chad when, quote "armed horsemen from neighbouring Sudan attacked a village and later clashed with Chadian forces, the government spokesman and army sources said."

A later AFP report says the Darfur rebels blame the Janjaweed for the attacks and said they never attack civilians, let alone Chadian villages.

As I recall, similar incidents happened last year, reportedly involving the Janjaweed in Chad. See Google search Janjaweed Chad 2004 and this excerpt from a 22 June 2004 report at Human Rights Watch:
Sudan: Darfur Atrocities Spill Into Chad - Despite Ceasefire, Sudanese Troops and Militias Continue to Kill, Rape and Loot

(New York, June 22, 2004) -- Backed by the Sudanese government, Janjaweed militias are launching assaults across the border into Chad, attacking and looting Chadian villagers as well as refugees from Darfur, Human Rights Watch said today. Despite a ceasefire agreement in Darfur, government troops and Janjaweed militias continue to commit atrocities in the western Sudanese region.

Human Rights Watch documented at least seven cross-border incursions into Chad conducted by the Janjaweed militias since early June. The Janjaweed attack villages in Chad and refugees from Darfur, and also steal cattle. The same Arab and African ethnic groups live on both sides of border in Chad and Darfur.
Chadian army soldier

Photo: A soldier from the National Army of Chad patrols the wadi Tine, the empty bed of seasonal river that runs between Chad and Sudan in Tine, in 2004. (AFP/File/Marco Longari)
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Over 600 Chadians returned home from CAR, UN refugee agency says

Over six hundred out of some 1,500 Chadian refugees who have spent the past two decades in exile in the Central African Republic (CAR) after fleeing civil war in their country have been returned home in an operation that began last week, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

The 609 Chadians were transported in two convoys, according to a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as part of an operation that is expected to be completed by early October. Full story by UN.org.

Also, note the report states:
With the growing insecurity in northern CAR since the end of 2004, the group approached UNHCR to organise their return to Chad. Many of the refugees reported attacks by bandits who stole their cattle and prevented them from working in their fields.

At the same time, UNHCR is looking into reports from local authorities of some 170 refugees who may have crossed the border from northern CAR into Chad two weeks ago after fleeing attacks by armed groups on their villages. It is also continuing the relocation of more than 2,000 other CAR refugees who crossed over for similar reasons in August.
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Sudan's Turabi says new unity government a fraud

Sep 28 Reuters SA report says Opposition leader Hassan Turabi said the new government failed to include enough representation for the east and Darfur, the western region of Sudan, where rebels took up arms in 2003:
A major political force in Sudan, Turabi backed the bloodless military coup that brought [Sudan's current President] Bashir to power in 1989 and became one of its most important defenders.

But the two fell out and Turabi has since spent around four years in detention. He was most recently released in July after being accused of arming the Darfur rebels and plotting a coup.

He said on Tuesday he supported the struggle of the Darfur rebels for a more federal system of government but denied arming them.
[I wish someonee would explain who is arming them]

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