Chad: Rebels Sprint To The Capital

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April 13, 2006: People in the eastern suburbs of the capital could hear gunfire before dawn, announcing the arrival of FUC rebels. Advancing in several columns, the rebels appear to have a few thousand armed men on the move, using trucks apparently obtained from the Sudanese government. Some vehicles were also stolen from UN run refugee camps, and Chadian towns the rebels passed through. Although president Deby controls an army of 20,000 troops, these are spread all over the country, and many are still stuck on the Sudanese and Central African Republic borders, trying to keep FUC rebels out. But Chad is a big place, and the army is of dubious loyalty. The new oil wealth has caused a lot of unrest in the coalition Deby presides over to control the country. FUC is a coalition of all those factions (tribal, political) that are united in their desire to remove Deby from power.

April 12, 2006: FUC rebels drove several hundred kilometers into Chad, and are now about 300 kilometers (4-5 hours drive) from the capital. France, which has about a thousand troops near the capital, is sending another 150. French aircraft have been monitoring the advance of the rebels, and passing on information to the government. In turn, the government has deployed troops from the Presidential Guard to points around the capital.

Meanwhile, in eastern Chad, FUC rebels seized the town of Mongo, 400 kilometers east of the capital, and retreated a few hours later when army troops showed up.

April 11, 2006: FUC has increased its forces moving across the border in the southeast. There are now over a hundred FUC vehicles in the area, and a refugee camp, with 18,000 refugees from Darfur, was captured. No one was harmed, although communications gear and food were taken from aid workers. The FUC rebels appear ready to continue advancing into Chad.

April 10, 2006: In southeastern Chad, about two dozen truck loads of FUC rebels crossed the Central African Republic (CAR) border and attacked a military base and three towns inside Chad. The rebels withdrew several hours later, taking prisoners and captured weapons with them.

 

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