On the Sudan border, the few
European peacekeepers that have arrived have established armed patrols on
several of the main roads. This has kept the bandits off these roads, and made
it safer for aid groups, refugees and locals to travel. Meanwhile, the army has
gone after the bandits, a process that mainly chases the criminals away, to
areas where the soldiers and police are not so thick on the ground. The
peacekeepers have also used their EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) teams to
dispose of left over bombs, shells and RPG warheads. Over 150 of these have
been taken care of, saving the lives of many Chadians. This was brought home by
the recent death of seven Chadians in a market place, where an unexploded RPG
warhead was discovered, and went off while being moved.
2008: In the northeast, along the Sudan
border, UFDD rebels clashed with pro-government militiamen (from president Idris
Deby's Zaghawa tribe). Several days of fighting left over fifty casualties. The
fighting took place over a hundred kilometers from the nearest European
peacekeepers, and had died down by the time the peacekeepers heard about it and
came to investigate.
2008: An Austrian peacekeeper patrol,
operating at night along the Sudanese border, got caught up in a gun battle between
an army patrol and a fleeing group of bandits. No Austrians were injured. It
took a while to sort out who was shooting at who. The bandits got away in the
darkness. The UN is trying to establish better radio communications between the
peacekeepers, Chadian security forces (army, police and pro-government
militias) and aid organizations.
2008: Sudan and Chad have agreed to
re-establish diplomatic relations, and re-open their embassies. All this
involves solemn promises to stop supporting rebels in each others territory,
and to stop the radio broadcasts denouncing each other, and providing
propaganda support for those rebels.