News

    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.
    Comments
         
    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora