AFRICA-GREEN TRUCKER HAT
The Second Chadian Civil War began in December 2005. The conflict grew to involve troops from Chad, and rebel groups. These include the United Front for Democratic Change, Janjaweed, and the Alliance of Revolutionary Forces of West Sudan. The conflict has also involved Sudan which allegedly supported the rebels, Libya, which is also accused of supporting Darfur rebels, but has mediated the conflict, as well as diplomats from the Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, and the African Union. African Union mediators may soon be replaced by an international force, risking further escalation of the conflict. ******************************* In their statement, the Chadian government calls for the citizens of Chad to mobilize themselves against the "common enemy", referring to militant members of the Rally for Democracy and Liberty and Platform for Change, Unity and Democracy (SCUD) rebel groups — Chadian rebels, allegedly backed by the Sudanese government — and Sudanese Janjaweed militiamen who crossed over the border from Sudan while pursuing Fur refugees and raiding cities for booty. The RDL denied receiving support from the Sudanese government.Between December 26 and December 28 RDL and SCUD joined with six other rebel groups to form the United Front for Democratic Change rebel alliance, led by Mohammed Nour. On February 8, 2006 the Tripoli Agreement was signed, which brought a cease to the conflict for approximately two months. The Government of Chad had estimated that 614 Chadian citizens were killed because of the previous conflict. However, with the recent rebel assault on the Chadian capital, N'Djamena, Chad has broken off all relations with Sudan, effectively nullifying the agreement and has threatened to expel refugees from the Darfur region.*********************Since 2004, Janjaweed militants involved in the Darfur conflict have been attacking villages and towns in eastern Chad, stealing cattle, murdering citizens, and burning houses. Over 200,000 refugees from the Darfur region of northwestern Sudan currently claim asylum in eastern Chad. Refugees from the Central African Republic are also entering southern Chad under UN supervision. Chadian President Idriss Déby accuses Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir of trying to "destabilize our country, to drive our people into misery, to create disorder and export the war from Darfur to Chad." The RDL rebel group was formed in August 2005, and SCUD, two months later, to overthrow the current government of Chad, which the allied rebel groups say is corrupt and totalitarian. Now there are over 4,000 rebels in the border region between Chad and Sudan. On December 28 the Sudanese Minister for Foreign Affairs al-Samani Wasiylah stated, "This is nonsense — he is just trying to draw attention away from the internal problems he is having. This is a mutiny in the army, everyone knows that, and we don't want to be involved in that." Chad has denied reports that its air force conducted reconnaissance missions over Sudanese airspace.********************An attack on Chadian troops in the town of Adré, near the Sudanese border, by RDL and SCUD militants, on December 18, 2005, led to the deaths of between 100 and 300 rebels, five soldiers, and three civilians. The attack was the second in the region in three days. Sudanese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Jamal Mohammed Ibrahim denied that Sudan encouraged the rebels. Chadian Communications Minister Hourmadji Moussa Doumgor announced that Chad holds the Sudanese government responsible for the attacks, since they occurred from within Sudan's borders. On December 26 Chadian Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmad Allam-Mi told foreign ambassadors in the capital N'Djamena, "The attacks were repulsed by the Chadian army which, using its right to pursuit, destroyed a few rebel bases implanted in Sudanese territory."***********************On January 6, 2006, Janjaweed militants crossed the border from Sudan into Chad and attacked the cities of Borota, Ade, and Moudaina. Nine civilians were killed and three were seriously injured. The Chadian government stated, "The Sudanese militias attacked the settlements of Borota, Ade, Moudaina... yesterday killing nine and injuring three among the civilian population... The Chadian government once again warns the Sudanese government against any hasty action because aggression by Sudanese militias will not go unpunished for much longer."*****************On February 8, 2006, Chadian President Idriss Déby, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, and Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi signed the Tripoli Agreement, effectively ending the conflict.The agreement was reached after a mini-summit in Tripoli, Libya, hosted by al-Qaddafi. Current Chairperson of the African Union and President of Congo Denis Sassou-Nguesso, Central African Republic President François Bozizé, and African Union Chairperson of the Commission Alpha Oumar Konaré also attended the summit.UFDC rebels regard the treaty as "a piece of paper with signatures on it. It means nothing."****Nour's original demands, for Déby to relinquish power, a two year interim period, and fair and free national elections, have been modified. Nour now wants a national forum, before the end of June, for opposition parties and organizations to discuss how the country should move forward politically. The African ministerial committee, made up of the foreign ministers of Chad, Sudan, Libya, Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, and Burkina Faso and the chairman of the executive council of the Community of the Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), met in Tripoli on March 6 and Libyan Foreign Minister Abderrahman Chalgham described the results. African Union (AU) Commissioner for peace and security Said Djinnit delivered his report on the conflict and the committee agreed to set up surveillance groups on the Chadian-Sudanese border. The other groups proposed in the Tripoli Agreement are expected to be implemented after the committee’s next meeting, sometime before the end of March. The committee identified 10 positions along the border for surveillance, five on each side of the border, and the states expected to form the control groups and the mechanisms for their operation. Chalgam said the meeting was "constructive, sincere and detailed," and said the results were "practical."Nour said, "A delegation will arrive tomorrow in Libya to present our demands to [Libyan leader] al-Qaddafi. We will have a transitional period, the length of which the forum will decide, and then we will have free and transparent democratic elections. I guess after a week or more we will know what Déby's reaction to this proposal is. If he refuses, then we will attack using force to remove him... No one wants a war, but if that's the only way, we will go to Chad." Smaller rebel groups and members of the Chadian army continue to pledge allegiance to the UFDC. Another rebel group joined the UFDC on February 13, and Nour says the UFDC is "eight times stronger" than it was when it attacked the city of Adré on December 18. Colonel Bishara Moussa Farid acted as a peacekeeper in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, later helping both Déby and his predecessor Hissène Habré seize control of the Government of Chad. He recently defected, and said the UFDC is "much better off than the previous resistances. We didn't have equipment and heavy weapons as we do now."