Monday, May 11, 2009

From "Fides Service": "AFRICA/CHAD - Rebel attacks force humanitarian aid organizations to limit services to thousands of refugees"

(Social Justice South Africa)

Note by Marc Aupiais

From "Fides Service",who report that "Chad" blames "Sudan" for "rebel" attacks, which cause issues to "Humanitarian" relief.

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AFRICA/CHAD - Rebel attacks force humanitarian aid organizations to limit services to thousands of refugees

N'Djamena (Agenzia Fides) – Rebels continue their attacks in east Chad, where on May 4 they launched an offensive from the border with Sudan (see Fides 6/5/2009). A spokesman from the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) declared that the objective of the troops is to take control of the capital city of N'Djamena and the main cities of Chad.

The government in Chad confirmed the advance of the rebel forces, however affirming that Chad's air force has bombed several UFR strongholds. N'Djamena has also reiterated the accusation that Sudan is supporting the guerrillas. A spokesman from the Chad government also claims that another group of Chad's rebels have been located on the border of the Central African Republic, whose government has not confirmed the news by has expressed its great concern for the situation. The crisis in Chad, the Central African Republic, and Darfur (western Sudan) are, in fact, related. It is precisely through the low security on the borders that groups of guerrillas and bandits are able to continue attacking border towns. The UN has deployed a mission in Chad and the Central African Republic, in an effort to protect the local refugee camps. Their presence, however, has not helped in facilitating the continuation of humanitarian aid activity in the camps of Goz Beida, the town that was first attacked by the rebels. It is the only conflict between rebels and the Chad Army that has been registered thus far. The rebels have not entered Goz Beida itself, but have taken control of two nearby villages.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has stated that it has reduced its own activities in a camp of 20,000 Sudanese refugees, in a town at 50 kilometers from Goz Beida. Provisional structures have been constructed around the camp, where nearly 40,000 internally displaced persons (from Chad) are living.

The UN World Food Program also announced the suspension of the distribution of food in the facilities.

The rebels have also entered Am-Dam, 110 kilometers from Goz Beida, where the main structures of the majority of the humanitarian aid organizations are concentrated, assisting over 450,000 people counting internally displaced persons and refugees from Sudan and Central Africa.
It seems that the rebel offensive is made up of several campaigns heading for different directions, but in a coordinated manner.

The UFR was formed on January 18 of this year, of a union of 8 rebel groups from Chad who are opposed to the government of President Deby. In February 2008, these groups participated in the attack on N'Djamena, which failed, partly due to the internal divisions in the rebels' leadership, which was not capable of coordinating efforts for a definitive attack on Presidential forces (see Fides 4/2/2008). The leaders of the UFR have declared that this error will not be committed again. (LM) (7/5/2009)

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