Chad: Peace With The Little People


August 3, 2009: Sixteen NGOs and the nine UN agencies are seeking another $200 million to carry out 89 projects in aid of half a million refugees (a third of them from Chad) in camps along the Sudanese border. The UN and the NGOs had already requested $389 million for this year's relief operations, but only about half of this money has arrived so far (in cash or goods, mainly food.) The largest economic enterprise in eastern Chad are the relief operations carried out by over twenty NGOs. Chad has been remarkably uncooperative when it comes to providing any money for these refugees. This despite the fact that Chad is now shipping oil via a pipeline from southwest Chad to a tanker loading facility on the Cameroon coast. Despite efforts by the World Bank, to get the government to share the wealth, Chad officials have stolen most of the oil revenue, leaving little, or nothing for most Chadians.

The new MINURCAT (U.N. peacekeeping force in Chad and the Central African Republic) is slowly moving in. So far, only half the force of 5,500 troops have arrived, and the rest are not expected until the end of the year. Meanwhile, fighting continues across the border in CAR (Central African Republic), but few details are getting out. There is poor communications with the area. Plus, it's dangerous, and few international news outlets are interested in risking any personnel to find out what is happening there. People are dying, at least according to the thousands of refugees who cross into Chad each month.

July 26, 2009:  The rebel National Movement (a coalition of three Chad rebel groups), at the urging of the Libyan government, signed a peace deal with the Chad government. The larger UFR (Union of Forces of Resistance) was responsible for the attempt to take the Chad capital last May. This incursion was halted about a hundred kilometers beyond the Sudan border, after which the UFR fighters fled back to Sudan, where they remain.

July 21, 2009: Chad admitted that it had bombed Sudan last week, but insisted that the bombs only hit Chadian UFR rebels, not Sudanese troops or civilians. Sudan came back accusing Chad of having bombed Sudanese targets four times in the last two months, and demanding that the UN do something about it. All the UN did was chide Chad for bombing a neighbor. Sudan's leader is currently under indictment for war crimes, and not likely to get much help from the UN.




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