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Old 04-14-2006   #1
SWJED
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Default Chad (merged thread)

13 April Associated press - Chad's President Now Facing Insurgency.

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Chad's president, Idriss Deby, was embraced as a unifier when he seized power by force in 1990.

Now some of the former military pilot's own relatives have turned on him in a scramble for power heightened by the discovery of oil in a central African country with few other resources and a history of instability.

Deby, a celebrated military strategist, has played a key role in that volatile history. The rebels he now faces are even emulating him. They have used the Darfur region of neighboring Sudan as a staging ground, just as he did 16 years ago. In an attack Thursday on the capital - which Deby's forces repulsed - the rebels raced in light trucks, a tactic Deby has deployed....

The competition for power in Chad has become more intense since the country began exporting oil in 2004.

Sudan's interest in cutting off Chadian support for Darfurian rebels and the Chadian rebels' desire for power appear to have combined to place Deby at serious risk.
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Old 02-02-2008   #2
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Default Chad Bubbling

News reports this AM indicated that rebel forces have entered the capital

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Chad unrest delays deployment of European peacekeepers

BRUSSELS, Belgium: The European Union has postponed the deployment of advance units of its peacekeeping force in Chad after an upsurge in rebel activity in the central African nation, EU military officials said Friday.

Two planes carrying about 50 Irish special forces and military equipment from Austria were canceled Thursday evening until the EU has a clearer picture of the impact of a rebel offensive against Chad's government, Irish and Austrian officers said.

"The incursion into Chad of a rebel group has caused a security situation and as a precaution EUFOR has restricted troop movements in Chad and into Chad since yesterday evening," said Commandant Dan Harvey, a spokesman for the EU operation.

"This unstable situation has led EUFOR to postpone flights planned for today and it could postpone the arrival of the EUFOR troops for a few days," Harvey added in a telephone interview from the headquarters of the EU mission in Paris.

The Irish special forces were to have formed part of an advance force to help set up the peacekeeping mission which is due to be up and running early next month
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Old 02-02-2008   #3
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Default France moving troops to Chad

C'est toujours le meme chose

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France moving troops to Chad


PARIS, France (CNN) -- The French Defense Ministry said Friday it is dispatching 140 soldiers from Gabon to Chad's capital of N'Djamena as a precaution to protect French citizens after renewed fighting between government troops and rebels.

The ministry spokesman said concerns were raised over the safety of French citizens by reports the Chad military had been fighting a rebel force hostile to President Idriss Deby north and east of N'Djamena.

A ministry spokesman said because of rebel activity in the former French colony, the decision was made to reinforce the garrison of French troops stationed in the city to "ensure the security of French citizens."

The French move came as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he is "deeply concerned at the resumption of fighting in Chad."

Ban's spokesman said he "deplores any action that could worsen the already grave humanitarian situation especially in eastern Chad where the international community is actively engaged in activities to provide relief and secure the voluntary, safe and sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons in eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic
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Old 02-02-2008   #4
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Default BBC's latest

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Chad rebels fight inside capital

Thousands of Chadian rebels have entered the capital N'Djamena and are advancing on the presidential palace.
There has been intense gunfire in the city centre, and a witness said army tanks were burning in the streets.

But the country's foreign minister said President Idriss Deby was inside the palace and the situation in the city was under control.

The French Foreign Ministry condemned the attempt to "seize power by force", blaming "armed forces from outside".

The Chadian and Sudanese governments accuse each other of backing rebels in each others' territory, and the rebels began their advance on N'Djamena from near Chad's eastern border with Sudan earlier this week.

France called on its citizens in Chad to stay indoors, reversing an earlier order to gather at evacuation points.

The African Union called for an end to the rebels' advance, and said it would expel Chad from the organisation if they took power.
The whole piece is here
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Old 02-03-2008   #5
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Default Chad army chief of staff killed, Deby declines evacuataion.

Chad capital hit by new fighting
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7224691.stm
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Old 02-03-2008   #6
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Default French factor

Interesting this near immediate flare up when I think back on all the French involvement from the late 80s. Then it was US Hawk batteries (transported by US C-5s via Zaire), on occasion a few aging Mirage IIIs on Kinshasa's tarmac, and lately the Arche de Zoe affair (The French accused of kidnapping Chadian children). I'm certain that's done wonders for the scrutiny of humanitarian and other aid organizations in the region.

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Back to battle - The rebels accuse the French army of feeding strategic information to the Chadian army thanks to the their Mirage jets which regularly over fly the rebel border hide-outs.

France, which has more than 1,000 troops stationed in Chad, says it keeps a check on rebel movements in order to protect its citizens in N'Djamena from possible attack.

The UFDD say they consider the French army an enemy and have gone on to issue a statement declaring a state of war against all foreign troops on Chadian soil.
There goes any hope of foreign military protection to aid workers

Well, they are helping US Expats

Quote:
The U.S. Embassy requests that all American citizens still in N’Djamena who would like to be evacuated should prepare to depart immediately, and identify themselves to the French military, who will retrieve American citizens to escort them to the airport.
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Old 02-03-2008   #7
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Default Jihad gains Chad?

From another website an early view of what has just happened:

http://counterterrorismblog.org/ Title Chad's Future Taliban enters capital while the West is asleep.....It was indeed a Sudanese-backed operation to change the regime in Chad, and backed by Wahabi circles, as a preemptive move to crumble the forthcoming humanitarian operation in Darfur.

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Old 02-04-2008   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
From another website an early view of what has just happened:

http://counterterrorismblog.org/ Title Chad's Future Taliban enters capital while the West is asleep.....It was indeed a Sudanese-backed operation to change the regime in Chad, and backed by Wahabi circles, as a preemptive move to crumble the forthcoming humanitarian operation in Darfur.

davidbfpo
Ahh, Walid Phares at his best....

The insurgency in Chad is far, FAR more complex than the link suggests. Certainly, some of the rebels likely enjoy Sudanese backing. However, Débay's amendment of the constitution (to allow himself a third term), rampant corruption, authoritarianism, his reliance on his own Zagawa community (which itself has fractured), and the usual lure of capturing the state to siphon off its resources are all at play here. Moreover, Sudan is far from the only neighbour that he has alienated.

On top of this, Phares labels both the Sudanese Janjaweed (Darfuri Arab) militia and the Sudanese government as "jihadi". Neither label fits. The former are driven by a combination of mercenary motives, economic struggles over land, and ethno-tribal tensions; the former certainly utilize Islam as a rallying cry, but also has repeatedly arrested or detained Hassan al-Turabi, the leading Islamist figure in the country, and (post-9/11) provided significant intelligence to the US on al-Qa'ida.
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Old 02-04-2008   #9
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What are the implications for Sudan now and for stability in the Horn in general? Any good analysis or information out there...?
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Old 02-04-2008   #10
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Default Armchair thoughts

Far too early to expect any good analysis, especially as very few reporters likely to be on the ground, excluding French speakers.

If the civil war remains a new high level - what will the French reaction be? Limited to protection of French and other nationals? Secondly the EU intervention, planned to be based in Eastern Chad on the Darfur border, will disappear, far too dangerous for EU members, let alone logistics. With a knock-on effect on the Darfur intervention (EU, AU & UN). Wily Sudanese win again.

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Old 02-04-2008   #11
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
Ahh, Walid Phares at his best....

The insurgency in Chad is far, FAR more complex than the link suggests. Certainly, some of the rebels likely enjoy Sudanese backing. However, Débay's amendment of the constitution (to allow himself a third term), rampant corruption, authoritarianism, his reliance on his own Zagawa community (which itself has fractured), and the usual lure of capturing the state to siphon off its resources are all at play here. Moreover, Sudan is far from the only neighbour that he has alienated.

On top of this, Phares labels both the Sudanese Janjaweed (Darfuri Arab) militia and the Sudanese government as "jihadi". Neither label fits. The former are driven by a combination of mercenary motives, economic struggles over land, and ethno-tribal tensions; the former certainly utilize Islam as a rallying cry, but also has repeatedly arrested or detained Hassan al-Turabi, the leading Islamist figure in the country, and (post-9/11) provided significant intelligence to the US on al-Qa'ida.

Thanks Rex! The good mssr Phares was just here lecturing--I skipped. Something about a Jesuit trained Lebanese I find less than balanced.

Best

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Old 02-04-2008   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Far too early to expect any good analysis, especially as very few reporters likely to be on the ground, excluding French speakers.

If the civil war remains a new high level - what will the French reaction be? Limited to protection of French and other nationals? Secondly the EU intervention, planned to be based in Eastern Chad on the Darfur border, will disappear, far too dangerous for EU members, let alone logistics. With a knock-on effect on the Darfur intervention (EU, AU & UN). Wily Sudanese win again.

davidbfpo
Interesting that new sources are now hinting that Libya is brokering talks. Reminds me of early 80's incursion in Chad by the good Colonel Q. Perhaps he is at it again, only this time trying a sham diplomatic effort after using "Sudanese" forces as his shills so that he can walk into Chad as an occupying peacemaker. Should that start to materialize, I wonder what may come out of the Elysee Palace. I suspect it may be be something other than Sarko and Carla whispering sweet nothings to each other.
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Old 02-04-2008   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Far too early to expect any good analysis, especially as very few reporters likely to be on the ground, excluding French speakers.

If the civil war remains a new high level - what will the French reaction be? Limited to protection of French and other nationals? Secondly the EU intervention, planned to be based in Eastern Chad on the Darfur border, will disappear, far too dangerous for EU members, let alone logistics. With a knock-on effect on the Darfur intervention (EU, AU & UN). Wily Sudanese win again.

davidbfpo
France probably doesn't care if Deby gets the boot and in fact may welcome it given Deby's ham-handed attempts at extorting the west over mineral resources. France will, however, do whatever they think is necessary to protect their mineral interests in the country. While there is almost certainly a radical Islamic facet to the current rebellion but it is not a dominate one. In all likelyhood France, and any other foreign powers who have interests in Chad are calculating whether or not they can do business with the rebels if they win. I would not even be suprised if there were some low level exploritory talks going on with the rebels, though I wouldn't bet the house on it.

I doubt that this will have much effect on the horn but whenever this happens it creates huge headaches for Niger and Gabon.

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Old 02-04-2008   #14
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In this morning video, France’s official position is fairly neutral, but still siding with President Idriss Deby. That is Deby was free and fairly elected with European monitoring bodies. Several of the article bleeds indicate that the rebels feel the French are the enemy – assisting the Chadian government from their Mirages. More interesting was the Chadian MOIs most recent version…we sent the Sudanese mercenaries more than 700 clicks out of town after being assisted by Sudanese helicopters and Antonov aircraft.

All Africa
has a good article with a bit of history for those late in the game.

Quote:
The closest the rebels had previously come to seizing control of the capital and the country was in April 2006. One month before presidential elections...That attack failed in part because the rebels, most apparently unfamiliar with N'djamena's unnamed streets and lack of sign posts, lost their way when they reached the city centre and attacked the empty National Assembly building

Deby - survivor?

Chad's President Idriss Deby is no stranger to fighting for survival...A French-trained helicopter pilot and former colonel in Chad's army, in 1989 Deby formed his own rebel movement in Sudan, with the backing of Khartoum.

Said by analysts to be a master strategist, in 1990 he swept back into Chad and seized control of the vast, semi-desert country with barely a shot fired.
Looks like Libreville will soon be enjoying an otherwise off-season boost in Expat and Official visitors (err, refugees)
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Old 02-04-2008   #15
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ISN Security Watch, 4 Feb 08: Chad, Sudan, and a Risky Western Game
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....At stake is Chad's oil, which came on stream in 2003, granting Deby lavish revenues to fund his counterinsurgency. Deby has manipulated Chad's constitution to allow him a third term as president, and his government is notably corrupt, abrogating a World Bank-led scheme to have oil revenues spent on health, education and invested for the future.

Two of the main rebel factions are headed by former Deby apparatchiks and family members, who doubtless have designs on the oil largesse. As does the NCPs patron in Beijing, which has largely stood by Khartoum throughout the Darfur catastrophe, despite the bad publicity in the run-up to this years' Olympic Games.

With south Sudan likely to secede in 2011 and take with it much of Sudan's oil - though north-south borders have not been decided, as the NCP seeks the best line possible - new oil sources via a client regime in Chad would be welcomed in Beijing, as a sanction-covered Sudan is out of bounds for western petroleum investment. South Sudan would not be out of bounds, however, and Beijing would have to contend with western oil company rivals in Juba.

Chad provides an alternative, and Deby himself has sought to curry Chinese favor by switching diplomatic allegiance from Taipei, which in hindsight looks like a pre-emptive move to show the Chinese that they did not need to depose him to access Chad's oil.....
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Old 02-05-2008   #16
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Default ISN article

Jedburg thanks for that link. This the best analysis of the current situation I have seen. It seems (well to me anyway) balanced in that it shows none of the players are really in a position to adopt the moral high ground and covers the major factors governing the murky sets of allegiances. Obviously things have moved on a bit, both on the ground and politically, as the security council have effectively given the nod to France to give more support to Deby - if they want to. Although this may have the short term effect of getting EUFOR in country I dread to think what effect it may have for their security in the longer term.


France faces tough choices over Chad
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7227290.stm

Last edited by JJackson; 02-05-2008 at 04:01 PM. Reason: added link
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Old 02-05-2008   #17
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Alex de Waal's blog: Making Sense of Chad

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Last weekend’s battle in the Chadian capital N’djamena came as no surprise. For the last two years, the Sudan government has been trying to overthrow the Chadian president, Idriss Deby, using Chadian rebels as proxy forces. The three armed groups involved in the latest attack were all extensively armed by Sudanese Security, which has the clear intent of cutting off the support that Deby is giving to Darfurian rebels, especially the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), which has recently been on the offensive in Darfur. The timing is no surprise either. In the next few weeks, a European Union protection force (EUFOR) was due to deploy to eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic. While EUFOR’s mandate (given by the UN Security Council) is for impartial civilian protection, it is a substantially French initiative, and seen by all in the region as a military protection for Deby. Khartoum and the rebels wanted to strike first.

The Chadian civil war is often described as a “spillover” from Darfur. That is a simplification. Darfur’s war actually began as a spillover from Chad more than twenty years ago and the two conflicts have been entangled ever since. Many of the Arab militia fighting in Darfur are of Chadian origin, and many of the rebels similarly served in the Chadian army or militia ...
Excellent post worth reading in full, as is anything de Waal writes about Darfur and the Horn.
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Old 02-05-2008   #18
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Default Chad authorities say rebels defeated, but deny ceasefire reports

CAIRO, February 5 (RIA Novosti) - Reports emerged on Tuesday saying Chadian rebels had agreed on a ceasefire to end three days of hostilities, but authorities insisted they had defeated the insurgents with no such deal reached.

Quote:
The rebels are a loose coalition of three opposition groups whose leaders accuse President Idriss Deby of corruption and embezzling millions of dollars in oil revenue.

Media in several Arab countries cited a spokesman for the rebel forces as saying they had given their agreement to an immediate ceasefire due to "the suffering of the Chadian people," and in line with the peace initiatives put forward by the African Union's mediators.

However, French media cited in their latest reports Chad's prime minister, Nourredine Delwa Kassire Coumakoye, as saying that the insurgency had been quashed and that the remaining rebel forces were fleeing the area around the capital.

"Why a ceasefire? They [the rebels] don't exist any more. With whom would we sign a ceasefire? We've got them under control," Coumakoye told international news channel France 24.
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Old 02-07-2008   #19
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Default Wheels within wheels

Chad to pardon French kidnappers
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7232327.stm

Quote:
Mr Deby made the pardon offer in the Chadian capital, N'Djamena, after talks with Defence Minister Herve Morin.

During the visit he thanked France, the former colonial power in Chad, for backing his government.

He said Paris had provided vital information in the face of a week-long assault, during which the rebels briefly stormed N'Djamena.
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Old 02-11-2008   #20
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Default throw caution to the wind

France Advises Nationals to Stay

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The government of France has granted permission to its residents in Chad, who are still in evacuation centres, to remain if they wish, as calm and some degree of normalcy has returned to N'djamena, the capital city.

It however cautioned them not to travel out of the capital and to observe the hours of curfew until absolute normalcy is restored in the country.

According to a statement released by the Embassy of France in Abuja, the French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Mr. Bernard Kouchner disclosed that 485 French and 444 foreigners had arrived France from Chad and there are still many French citizens in the gathering points at the Cité Lamy and the Novotel; a recommendation has been made for them to go home.
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