Situation Report: Chad: Wading Through a Domestic Political Crisis in a Turbulent Region, Paul-Simon Handy

On 27 November 207, heavy fighting erupted between the Chadian army and the Union des Forces pour la Democratie et le Development (UFDD) that lasted for three days and claimed more than a thousand lives. This fighting took place when the international community was preparing to deploy a UN-EU peacekeeping mission in Eastern Chad. This force of about 3000 troops, authorised on 25 September 2007 through UN Security Council resolution 1778, is supposed to protect refugees and internally displaced persons who are scattered along the Chad-Sudanese border and victimised by rebel or bandit groups and the national army in that region. These clashes have highlighted the volatility of the country in which the mission is going to be deployed of foreign soldiers would exacerbate or contain the situation. In fact, there is a real danger that the mission might be caught in a crossfire between government troops and rebels, or might be considered by the latter as supporting the regime of President Idriss Deby Itno. This paper highlights the structural causes of conflict in Chad, and argues that the success of any external intervention in the region will depend on the capacity of the international community to look beyond the narrow lens of the Darfur question and to focus on the entire conflict system in the Chad, Sudan and the CAR triangle


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