Chad military clashes with rebels in N'djamena

Friday, February 1, 2008

Violence between Rebels and the Chadian military started in Chad as rebel groups are continuing to advance on the N'djamena, the capital of Chad. IRIN has reported that the government of Chad responded to the move by the rebel groups by placing tanks across N'djamena.

The chief of the Chadian military has said that the battle has ended with the rebels being "entirely destroyed this column after 40 minutes of fighting," a claim which has been denied by the rebel groups. Timan Edrimi, one of the leaders made an opposing claim by saying that "The army attacked us [the rebels] 40 kilometres from Massaguet, but we drove them back"

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said in a press release that "a series of armed attacks on the UN refugee agency and other aid organisations has forced UNHCR to evacuate most of its staff from its office in Guereda in eastern Chad." A representative for the organisation said "We [the UNHCR] are left only with one choice, much to our regret, which is to relocate most staff out of Guereda area, as we cannot continue to perform our activities in favor of refugees."

According to AFP, the European Union force (EUFOR) has suspended all flights to Chad, although it was made clear that this was only a temporary delay. The commander of EUFOR in Chad said he did not consider a danger to EUFOR and he said that he would not consider it a danger "unless during their offensive they threaten or attack civilians, or the non-governmental organisations, or UN personnel."


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