Chad: Aid Groups Supporting the Rebels

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December3, 2006: The fighting in the east has led to widespread looting of aid agency warehouses, and other facilities. There are over 300,000 Sudanese refugees living in eastern Chad, and they survive on imported food. To replace some of the stolen supplies, the UN has airlifted in over 110,000 tons of food. Much of the looted food ends up in local market places, driving down the price of grain and other staples, and hurting local farmers, who often cannot compete with the low prices. Meanwhile, the rebels are supporting themselves by looting the foreign aid supplies. This is a common pattern in these situations, and no one has come up with a workable solution, other than bringing in lots of armed, and aggressive, peacekeepers.

Chad is now willing to accept UN peacekeepers, to help deal with the unrest along its border with Sudan. But many UN members are uneasy with getting involved in whatever is going on in eastern Chad (rebellion?, banditry?, Sudanese intervention?, all of these?)

December 2, 2006: Rebels withdrew from the town of Guerada, and drove off towards the Sudan border, which is fifty kilometers away.

December 1, 2006: Rebels in the east, seized the town of Guerada, which is fifty kilometers from the Sudan border. The rebels, who are supplied by Sudan, claimed to have taken a hundred prisoners and captured at least five armored vehicles. Rebels also claim that government forces were assisted by Sudanese rebels. Aid workers said two of their trucks were stolen by the rebels, as well as large quantities of supplies and office equipment.

November 29, 2006: In the Central African Republic (CAR), French troops exchanged fire with rebels at an airport the French were guarding. There are now 300 French troops in CAR, and some Mirage fighters and helicopters. The fighters have been used in northern CAR, to drive rebels out of two towns. As in Chad, the CAR rebels are believed to be backed by Sudan.

 

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