Chad: We Are Ready For Our Close Up


December 19, 2009: For the last week, troops have been fighting UFR rebels in Eastern Chad. This has included air strikes on rebel positions. This fighting was of little consequence, with the UFR skirmishing with government troops mainly, it appears, to show the media that the UFR was still around. There were apparently no more than a dozen or so casualties, if that, for several days of shooting and bombing. The fighting took place about 20 kilometers from where a  battalion of Irish peacekeepers are stationed. So the government troops had backup, in case the rebels got lucky.

The UN had to send some peacekeepers to a refugee camp in Central African Republic, to chase off UFDR rebels. The threat came about when local bandits killed two UFDR men, and the rebels believed the killers were living in the refugee camp. This often happens. At the moment, the UN is trying to carry out a peace deal in northern Central African Republic. There are six major factions involved, and not all are on board with the current peace deal. However, the peacekeeping efforts have calmed things down for the last year, and economic activity, nation-wide, is growing. But in this part of the world, instability tends to be the norm, not the exception.

Taking advantage of a lull in the Eastern Chad mayhem, the UN has moved in teams to  train local elders and such to be judges (or, more correctly, "Justices of the Peace"). This part of the world has not got much in the way of modern policing and judicial procedure since the colonial government infrastructure fell apart during the civil wars of the 1980s. The UN teams are also training similar officials across the border in Central African Republic.




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