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Why Geography

Why a War in Chad

An eleven year civil war ended in 1990. That war was a complicated affair, with fourteen major factions, and the factions changed sides frequently. The civil war ended with several of the factions taking control of the government. But all was not peaceful. The factions were largely based on ethnic affiliation. But there are nearly 200 different ethnic groups in Chad, many of them small, and feisty, nomad tribes. Those in the north are the most combative and in October, 1998, the defense minister, Youssouf  Togoimi, formed the MDJT (Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad) and began a civil war based in the northern mountains and deserts. Fighting has been low level until 2000. As of early 2000, the rebels claim control of  the villages of Yebbi Bou, Zouar, Zoumri and Miski in the northern border region called Tibesti. This was the same area where the 1979-1990 civil war began. At that time the rebels were supported by Libya, which claimed parts of northern Chad. This time, the outside support appears to come from Sudan.