Some 1,800 of the 3.700 EU (European Union) peacekeepers have arrived in
Chad. The entire force is supposed to be in Chad by the end of June. That will
include helicopters, which are essential to enable the peacekeepers to watch
over the huge (1,300 kilometers) border with Sudan. Meanwhile, the Chad rebels
refuse to resume peace negotiations with the government, insisting that the government
cannot be trusted. This conflict, like most past ones, is based on tribal
loyalties and personal animosities.
2008: A fire in the Goz Amer refugee camp (on the Sudanese border) left 2,100
refugees homeless. There are still several thousand Sudanese refugees a week
coming across the border. Most are heading for the Chad refugee camps, but at
least 10,000 are staying in villages along the border, usually with kinsmen
from a tribe that straddles the border. There are currently about 250,000
refugees in twelve camps. Over two-thirds are women and children. The men are either
dead, off fighting or looking for work.
2008: A Sudanese army captain fled to Chad with a million dollars in cash. This
was part of a $3.4 million army payroll he was in charge of. The captain was
paying Sudanese army units, as well as irregular tribal militias. Sudan has
long denied that it provided any support for these pro-government militias. The
Captain wanted to defect to one of the Sudanese rebel groups.
2008: The government believes that Sudan is allowing Chad rebels to gather
right across the border, and prepare for another major military operation. Chad
and Sudan signed a treaty last month agreeing not to do that sort of thing.
2008: It appears that over 20,000 people fled the capital, Ndjamena, in the
wake of the rebel invasion in February. Most of them fled across the nearby
border, into Cameroon and Nigeria. The army and police forcibly drove some
10,000, who belonged to tribes aligned with the rebels, out and destroyed
nearly 2,000 homes.