While Chad’s president claimed victory over rebels in fighting in the capital Friday, one analyst doubts that’s the end of rebel attacks.
Herman Hanekom is with the Africa Institute of South Africa. From Cape Town, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about Chad’s rebel movement:
“No, I do not see this as the end it. As history has shown, rebels come, rebels go. Every time they come stronger, as has been the case in Chad. And eventually it turns into one can say actually a civil war and the stronger side then comes out as the winner.” As for the reasons behind the rebel attacks, Hanekom says, “It is a power play to a very large degree and ethnecism (sic) might be in the picture as well. We must remember that (President Idriss) Deby came to power though a coup d’etat and he is now threatened by the same principle, change of government, which is of course undemocratic. But whichever way it goes, with the problems that we have in Darfur, the northwestern province of Sudan that borders onto Chad, this rebellion that’s taking place at the moment can of course result in a total destabilization of the area, including unseating the Darfur peace talks currently underway in Nigeria.”
Could the problems in Chad set the stage for a regional war? The South African analyst says, “From my point of view, if enough attention is gathered from a world perspective on the Chadian situation, it might just give the leeway that either Eritrea or Ethiopia is looking for to rekindle the conflict that they were involved in three years ago.”
Hanekom says it’s a “necessity” for the UN to takeover the AU peacekeeping troops now in Darfur. “Let us say that the United Nations take over the administration of that peace force and change the name from an African force to a United Nations force. They have those guys there. They have the experience that they’ve acquired up to now and they have the knowledge required to do their work. Where they do lack in efficiency is numbers and finances.”