Chad: Tribal Violence Threatens Truce


October 20, 2007: In the north, the Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDJT) rebels have kidnapped a Christian missionary and are negotiating a ransom. The MDJT has been skirmishing with the government since 1998, in the far north, along the Libyan border. Led by Mahmat Choua Dazi, MDJT earned some gratitude from the United States by chasing down Islamic terrorists who tried to cross through MDJT controlled territory. Neither the hundred or so MDJT members, nor several other tiny rebel groups, are strong enough to bring down the government, especially as long as France maintains several thousand troops in the country. But the government has never been strong enough to take down the rebels either.The MDJT, and most other self-declared rebels, survive on banditry, shaking down relief groups and getting subsidies from foreign countries (Sudan, Libya, or anyone who wants to mess with Chad.)

October 19, 2007: So far this month, about 300 have died in fighting in eastern Chad.

October 18, 2007: There has been some fighting in the east, involving rebels who disagreed with the terms under which they would disarm.

October 16, 2007: The government declared a state of emergency in the east, where fighting has broken out between the Tama and Zaghawa tribes. President Deby belongs to the Zaghawa.

October 15, 2007: As a result of the earlier desertion of Chadian troops, tribal violence between members of the Tama and Zaghawa, broke out in one of the towns the troops had abandoned. This has led to about twenty people killed so far. Meanwhile, the European Union says that the first of 3,000 European peacekeepers will arrive in November.

October 12, 2007: Over 500 soldiers, former members of the FUC rebel group, deserted their positions and moved towards the Sudan border. Their former boss, now the Defense Minister, said it was all a misunderstanding.

October 6, 2007: Some rebel groups declared that they were not satisfied with some of the details of the peace deal.




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