Chad: Peace Deal Dead On Arrival


October 28, 2007: Several rebel groups have not agreed to take part in the new peace treaty, or have a different interpretation of the October 26 agreement. The SLA-UC rebels didn't sign the deal, UFDD called the agreement merely a declaration of principle, while the RFC has already declared the deal null and void. The first of 4,000 European peacekeepers will start arriving next month, and they are prepared to fight. No one with any knowledge of Chadian history would think that the many factions in the region would make peace without fighting. There are periods of much less fighting, which occur when the government has enough military power to terrify many groups, and enough money to bribe the rest. There are over a hundred tribes in Chad, and most believe they should be getting more from the government. Many of those are willing to fight for more goodies. This fighting was going on long before Chad was created as a French colony in 1900. The colony became an independent nation in 1960. About half the population, in the north, are Moslem. Those in the south are mainly Christian. The northern and southern tribes do not get along, and that has been the main source of violence for centuries. It's similar to the situation in Darfur, with the northern tribes considering themselves "Arab," and therefore superior to the southern, or "African" tribes. More so than Darfur, the tribal divisions are more intense and violent.

October 26, 2007: The government, and four rebel groups (UFDD, RFC, DNT and UFDD-F) signed a peace deal in Libya. There is to be an immediate cease fire, amnesty all around, freeing of hostages, and rebel officials are to be integrated into the government. That, in effect, is a payoff, in order to obtain the cooperation of these rebel leaders. The negotiations were supported by the UN and African Union.


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