Chad: The Family Feud


October 29, 2005: The government is trying to get control of several hundred million dollars in oil profits that, via an agreement with the World Bank, it has placed in a London bank account for future development projects. Chad is a corrupt nation, with tribal loyalties, all too often, coming before national ones. Chad's dozens of major tribes don't trust each other when it comes to spending the new oil revenue. For that reason, oil wealth has tended to be something of a curse in Africa, benefiting only a few, and causing unrest, and even civil war. It's happening in Chad as well.

October 26, 2005: The Chadian army has chased nearly all members of SCUD into Sudan, and is asking the Sudanese to disarm the group. The Sudanese would like to do that, because they believe SCUD is working with Darfur rebel groups. The problem is that Darfur is a large place, and a few hundred SCUD gunmen have plenty of hiding places.

October 22, 2005: The umbrella group for Chadian rebel groups, ANR (Alliance Nationale de la Résistance), declared it had nothing to do with the latest armed rebels to oppose president Deby. ANR declared that the latest rebel faction, who were members of the Presidential Guard, had nothing to do with ANR, and were involved in a "family feud" (since the Presidential Guard is recruited from the president's tribe, the Zagawa.) It is believed that the current rebellion is, literally, a family feud, with Doussa Deby, the brother-in-law of the president, behind the current problems in the Presidential Guard. The new rebel group calls itself SCUD (Platform for Change, National Unity and Democracy), and is led by Yahia Doli, who claims he has several hundred armed men. The government says only 40 troops deserted the Presidential Guard to join SCUD, and this is probably correct. That's because SCUD is less a bunch of Chadian rebels, then it is a group of Chadian volunteers going off to help the Zagawa clans that live across the border in Darfur. Like many of Africa's 700 or so tribes, the Zagawa does not live in just one country. When the national boundaries were drawn up in the 19th century, some Zagawa ended in up in Chad, and some in Sudan's Darfur region. As black Africans, the Zagawa have been suffering from the attacks of Sudanese Arab tribesmen, armed and urged on by the Sudanese government. What complicates the matter is that the president of Chad, Idriss Deby, came out on top in the recent civil war, largely because he was backed by Sudan. That conflict is not completely over, with various, tribe based, factions still providing armed opposition to the government in various parts of the country.




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