Chad Rebels Cautiously Await European Force Deployment

After weeks of delays, European peacekeeping forces are preparing to travel to Chad's troubled eastern border with Sudan. While awaiting the arrival of the mission, Chad rebel leader Mahamat Nouri spoke to VOA about rebel activities following their retreat from the capital earlier this month. Phuong Tran has more from VOA's West Africa Bureau in Dakar.

A group of more than 50 Irish officers are expected to arrive in Chad's capital N'djamena Thursday. They are then scheduled to travel 900 kilometers by land to join an advance unit of 200 U.N.-EU troops already in place in east Chad.

The troops are being called on to protect hundreds of thousands of refugees displaced by years of inter-ethnic fighting along the borders of Chad, Sudan and the Central African Republic. A dozen humanitarian camps have been caught in fighting among rebels and governments in all three countries.

Mahamat Nouri, ex-minister to Chad Presidents Hissene Habre and Idriss Deby and now leader of the rebel Union of Forces for Democracy and Development, told VOA the rebels welcome the troops as long as they do not interfere with fighting between rebels and government forces.

Otherwise, Nouri says there will be problems.

The peacekeepers, expected to eventually number 3,700, face questions about their role. U.N. officer Kemoral Jadjombaye in the eastern Chad town of Abeche told VOA his concern is that the peacekeepers will be confused with humanitarian workers. That could complicate humanitarian assistance as long as there are lingering concerns about the peacekeepers' neutrality.

Rebel leader Nouri says the rebels do not consider the arriving European forces, known as Eufor, their enemy.

He says the rebels also do not consider the French, who had supported President Deby with transportation during the rebel attack earlier this month, to be their enemy.

Nouri says the rebels are only focused on toppling President Idriss Deby from power. He accuses the president of human rights abuses and refusing to share power outside his Zaghawa tribe.

A recently-formed coalition of three major Chad rebel groups tried to overtake the capital earlier this month, but retreated to the southeast after hours of fighting. The fighting further delayed the arrival of the European peacekeeping forces.

Rebel leader Nouri says it was a good decision the rebels decided to withdraw. He says it is best that the rebels pursue combat outside the capital. He says the rebels are regrouping, and will continue with their military operations to topple President Idriss Deby.

Rebel leaders from four of the biggest groups signed a peace treaty with the president last October. But fighting broke out months later as rebels disagreed on the terms of disarmament.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs