Wednesday, March 22, 2006

AU sends observers on Chad-Sudan border - Chadian troops clash with rebels near Adre, East Chad

On Monday, Chadian military attacked rebels near Adre, a city on the Chad-Sudan border, a government official told IRIN, declining to be named or to give more details. Excerpt from IRIN report 21 Mar 2006 explains:
Yaya Dillo Djerou, self-proclaimed leader of the rebel group Platform for Change, National Unity and Democracy (SCUD), confirmed the attacks. Djerou told IRIN by phone that what he called SCUD's base in eastern Chad had been attacked in two separate offensives - one from the west Monday morning and another from the east a few hours later.

The rebels drove off the government forces, Djerou said, claiming that SCUD had killed 187 government soldiers and wounded several more, with 10 rebels dead and some 28 wounded. The figures could not be confirmed and government sources would not comment on casualties.
Note, Tuesday marked the opening of the four-day period during which would-be contenders in Chad's presidential election, set for 3 May, are to submit their candidatures.

Chadian soldiers patrol

Photo: Chadian soldiers patrol dirt roads near the Sudan border (IRIN/ST)

Reuters report Mar 21, 2006 explains SCUD is a rebel group largely made up of deserters from Deby's own army - and:
Rebel sources said government forces were using armoured vehicles and artillery and the four-wheel-drive jeeps mounted with cannon which are often used for desert warfare in Chad.

Chadian President Deby was directing the army offensive.

Denouncing a spillover into his own country of the rebellion in Darfur, he has accused the Sudanese government of backing efforts to topple him, a charge denied by Khartoum.
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AU sends observers on Chad-Sudan border

On Tuesday, the African Union Peace and Security Council endorsed plans to deploy military observers on the Chad-Sudan border as per peace agreement signed by leaders of the two countries in Tripoli, Libya last month, reported Sudan Tribune Mar 21, 2006.

Chad's camel guards

Photo: Chad's camel guards patrol on the Sudan-Chad border in Abulu Kore (Darfur), Eastern Chad in 2004. (ST)

Since October, scores of defectors from the Chadian army have joined a number of Chadian rebel groups based in the area bordering Darfur, the site of an uprising by Sudanese groups, some with tribal ties to many Chadians.

Sudan has accused Chad of harbouring Darfur rebels, while Chad has said Sudan backs Chadian insurgents.

Under the Tripoli agreement, the leaders of Sudan and Chad agreed to deny refuge to each other's rebel groups. The deal, however, has yet to resolve the chaos on the ground.

Leaders of Sudan, Chad ok peace agreement

Photo: The leaders of Sudan and Chad sign the 'Tripoli peace agreement' at a meeting in Tripoli, Libya on 10 Feb 2006 to end increasing tension over Darfur, pledging to normalise diplomatic relations and deny refuge to each other's rebel groups. (AP/Khaled El-Deeb Tripoli, Libya)

Update Mar 22 2006 (Reuters/Scotsman)
Chad says army destroyed rebel base, rebels deny it.

Update Mar 22 2006 (IRIN/ST)
Chadian capital deserted after shooting near presidential palace - Deby is set to run in presidential elections scheduled for 3 May, but a swelling rebel movement has vowed to put him down by means other than the ballot box. The N'djamena resident said tensions are mounting ahead of the crunch poll, "The closer we come to the date, the higher the tension."

Further reading

Mar 15 2006 Chad's President Deby was sponsored by Khartoum and helped into power by the French secret services

Mar 6 2006 Libya sets up surveillance groups on Chad-Sudan borders

Mar 5 2006 Chad - The danger of war spilling over by The Economist

Mar 3 2006 UNHCR - Chad/Sudan: Flight both ways: Central Africans moved away from border

Feb 28 2006 Refugees flee from Chad into Sudan's Darfur - Chad hosts about 300,000 refugees

Feb 27 2006 Food aid to Am Nabak camp in Chad suspended due to security concerns

Feb 26 2006 Chad-Sudan border peacekeeping force - AU chair and Libyan leader Col Gaddafi follow up on Tripoli mini-summit

Feb 24 2006 Libya's Gaddhafi and Sudan's al-Bashir discuss Darfur crisis

Feb 23 2006 UN envoy Jan Pronk admits peace strategy to halt "cleansing in Darfur" had failed - Let's hope Libyan leader Col Gaddafi succeeds in brokering peace

Feb 23 2006 Libya offers African Union 100,000 troops, 1,000 tanks, 100 aircraft to close Chad-Sudan border

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