By Meryl White
Impunity Watch Reporter, Western and Central Africa
ABECHE, Chad – According to the Chad army, several hundred rebel fighters were killed near the eastern border. The present clashes have ended the month- long cease fire. The clashes took place near the volatile border of Sudan’s Darfur region, an area where 4,000 European Union peacekeepers are expected to be sent next year.
A rebel leader of the Union Forces for Democracy and Development (UFDD) has confirmed that seventeen of his armed militants were killed. The leader also claimed that 100 government soldiers were killed in the fighting that took place in the small towns of Forchana and Hadjer Hadid, located 70 kilometers east of Abeche. The UFDD has also stated that they will abandon the peace agreement signed with the government.
A military spokesman has reported that the “partial [rebel] toll is around 50 vehicles seized, around 40 vehicles destroyed, several hundred dead and several prisoners of war.”
Presently more than 60 people are being treated for combat related injuries in the hospital in Abeche. Aid workers based in Forchana have reported hearing machine gun and heavy gun fire on Monday morning.
EU peacekeepers are hesitant to enter the region. One Chad based diplomat said, “This is a forewarning … nobody from the EU is going to feel confident now that there has been heavy fighting.”
For more information, please see:
BBC – Hundreds Dead in Chad Fighting – 27 November 2007
Reuters South Africa – Chad fighting points to risks of EU deployment – 27 November 2007
Janes- Potential for renewed hostilities as Chad truce lapses – 27 November 2007