Chad: Another Run For The Capital


June 15,2008: The Chadian National Alliance rebels, who made a run for the capital (N'Djamena) four months ago, now say they have sent four columns of gunmen west, to try again. These rebels are believed to be receiving guns, trucks and other supplies from Sudan. Moreover, Sudan is really, really angry that a column of Chadian supported Sudanese rebels from Darfur made it to the outskirts of the Sudanese capital last month. Very embarrassing, as it is a tenet of belief among the Sudanese leadership that the Sudanese Arabs are way superior to the black African scum who are being forcibly driven from their villages in Darfur. How could those lowlifes be capable of getting armed men to Sudans capital? The Sudanese support Arab tribes in Chad, that want to replace the current government and get their hands on the recently developed oil wells.

For the last few days, National Alliance rebels have been shooting at relief convoys, and European peacekeeper patrols around Goz-Beida (which is 70 kilometers from the Sudan border, and 700 kilometers due west is the Chad capital.) There are 450 peacekeepers around Goz-Beida (390 Irish and 60 Dutch), as well as even more Chadian police and soldiers. There are two Darfur refugee camps near the town, holding a total of 36,000 people. There are another 15-20,000 Chad refugees in the area as well. Foreign relief operations are the constant target of attacks by rebels and bandits. All the goodies the foreigners have brought in are attractive to young men with guns. The relief groups hire locals as armed guards, but there have still been several dozen attacks on the roads, and the camps, over the last four years.

The National Alliance are warning the French (who have 2,500 troops in the country, including a few warplanes) not to get involved. But at the same time, The National Alliance would like France to mediate an end to the civil war in Chad. European peacekeeper commanders, and Chadian Army leaders, do not believe the National Alliance is making a serious run for the capital again.

There are about half a million refugees in eastern Chad. Two-thirds of them are from western Sudan (Darfur). The rest are Chadians driven from their homes by tribesmen (both Sudanese and Chadian) armed and supplied by the Sudanese government, which is dominated by Sudanese who are culturally Arabs, and are supporting the expulsion of Sudanese tribes that are non-Arab (sub-Saharan Africans, with a darker complexion, and culture, than their Arab countrymen). This conflict between "Arabs" and "blacks" has been going on for over a thousand years, even though, in Darfur, everyone is Moslem.

A massive international relief effort has come to the aid of the Darfur refugees in the past four years. Most of that has been paid for by the United States, which has contributed over $3 billion so far. The violence in Darfur has displaced over 4 million people (including half a million refugees in Chad) so far, and killed over a million (mainly in Darfur).

June 12, 2008: National Alliance rebels, advancing from Sudan towards the town of Goz-Beida, fired on two Chadian military helicopters that were observing. One helicopter was badly damaged, but both landed safely. As is common in the region, heavy (12.7-14.5mm) machine-guns are mounted on the backs of trucks, for use against aircraft, vehicles, buildings or people.




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