Chad: July 29, 2000


  It looks like yet another round of chaotic civil war is getting started in Chad. An eleven year civil war ended in the mid 1990s. That war was a complicated affair, with fourteen major factions, and the factions changed sides frequently. In the beginning there were three separate rebellions. The civil war ended with several of the factions taking control of the government. But all was not peaceful. The factions were largely based on ethnic affiliation. But there eleven major ethnic groups (divided into nearly 200 tribes, clans and distinct groups, 127 different languages are spoken) in Chad. There many small, and feisty, nomad tribes. Those in the north are the most combative and in October, 1998, the defense minister, Youssouf  Togoimi, formed the MDJT (Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad) and began a civil war based in the northern mountains and deserts. Fighting has been low level until 2000. As of early 2000, the rebels claim control of  the villages of Yebbi Bou, Zouar, Zoumri and Miski in the northern border region called Tibesti. This was the same area where the 1979-1990 civil war began. At that time the rebels were supported by Libya, which claimed parts of northern Chad. This time, the outside support appears to come from Sudan. But it could be coming from other sources as well. Chad has been sitting on oil fields for over thirty years, waiting for a pipeline to be built so the oil could be exported. A pipeline is under construction, via Cameroon.


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