Chad: Yet Another War With Sudan


May 15,2008: In sharp contrast to eastern Chad, the refugee camps of southern Chad are peaceful. About 17 percent of the 300,000 refugees in Chad are in the south. These are people fleeing civil war in the Central African Republic (CAR). The big difference is there are not trans-national tribes working both sides of the border. With Sudan, there are powerful tribes with interests on both sides of the border. Sudan and Chad battle each other by subsidizing these tribe-based rebel movements. Neither country wants the hassle of a formal war, and prefers this proxy form of conflict. No one will admit to anything, and the various rebel groups continue to receive support. Sudan, however, has increased its reward for the leader of JEM, to $2.5 million.

May 11, 2008: The Sudanese accused Chad of backing the JEM attack on Khartoum, and severed diplomatic and economic relations. The border was closed. Sudan believed that Chad bankrolled the JEM attack in retaliation for an April attack by Chad rebels on the Chad capital (which got into the city and got pretty nasty.)

May 10, 2008: In Sudan, the Darfur the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebels made a daring attack on the capital, Khartoum. The rebels were stopped over a ten kilometers short of their goal. Because of the danger of coups, and civil unrest, Khartoum is full of police and troops, and fortifications. The chances of a few hundred JEM gunmen blasting their way in, and accomplishing anything, are slim to none.

May 8, 2008: It was thirty years ago today that the Red Cross first began operating in Chad, to assist victims of a civil war. For as long as anyone can remember, the dozens of tribes that occupy Chad have been fighting each other.

May 7, 2008: In the south, police arrested four EU peacekeepers. The four EU troops were in civilian clothes, trying to pass as tourists, and carrying out a reconnaissance mission. The EU and Sudan has signed a treaty that made EU troops immune from arrest, and the EU is upset with the Chad government for violating this agreement. There are about 2,400 EU troops in Chad, with another thousand or so on the way.

May 3, 2008: Foreign aid groups ended a two day suspension of activity, in protest over the murder of one of their own, apparently by bandits. Police and peacekeepers are seeking the killers, but that will be difficult what with all the armed freelancers wandering around eastern Chad.




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