Aftermath of Renewed Fighting in Eastern Chad
The UN Security Council has condemned an offensive by rebels fighting Chad’s government in the east of the country. Heavy fighting has been raging for the past two days near the town of Am-Dam as government forces seek to halt the advance of rebels from the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR). Al Jazeera’s Tarek Bazely has an exclusive report showing the aftermath of those battles. (2:34):
Chad has won a “decisive victory” over rebels in the east of the country, Defence Minister Adoum Younousmi said after two days of fierce fighting.
Officials say 220 rebels were killed and 120 captured. Twenty-one soldiers are also reported killed. There is no independent confirmation of the claims.
Chad rebels have been trying to topple President Idriss Deby.
Chad’s government accuses Sudan of sending armed rebels over the border from Darfur, a claim Khartoum rejects.
Skirmishes have been continuing near the town of Goz Beida.
The BBC’s Celeste Hicks says the rebels from the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) are essentially in retreat, with a convoy of around 300 vehicles attempting to return to their bases in the Sudanese border region.
“It is a decisive victory,” Mr Younousmi told AFP news agency. “We are continuing our mopping-up operations as far as the [Sudanese] border. With the deployment in place, few can escape.” >>>
The United Nations Security Council has condemned an incursion into eastern Chad by rebels based in Sudan.
All 15 ambassadors on Saturday agreed to a non-binding statement that “condemns the renewed military incursions in eastern Chad of Chadian armed groups, coming from outside,” meaning Sudan.
The UN’s rebuke came a day after government forces battled fighters from the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) near the town of Am-Dam, halting their advance on the capital, Ndjamena.
Mahamat Hissene, Chad’s communications minister, said on Friday that 225 UFR fighters had been killed in two days of fighting.
Hissene said another 212 opposition fighters were taken prisoner, 127 of their vehicles seized and 93 destroyed.
He said 22 soldiers had also died and 31 were wounded in the clashes.
The UFR, which is seeking to overthrow Idriss Deby, Chad’s president, said “several dozen” government troops had been killed in clashes.
But there has been no independent confirmation of either claim.
The fighting has heightened concerns among UN agencies and aid groups caring for about 450,000 refugees from Sudan and the Central African Republic.
Am-Dam lies about 100km south of Abeche, a base used by relief agencies.
UN agencies have warned that the clashes will make it difficult to reach 22,000 refugees from Darfur in neighbouring Sudan and 60,000 internally displaced people in the area. >>>