Home | News    Sunday 26 November 2006

Chad rebels attack key town, army withdraws


Nov 25, 2006 (N’DJAMENA) — Chadian rebels attacked the eastern regional capital of Abeche on Saturday in their latest strike against President Idriss Deby’s rule, wresting control from government forces who withdrew and surrounded the town.

Rebels of the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development (UFDD) took control of Abeche. Aid workers and diplomats reported looting as government troops fled.

A second rebel group, the Rally of Democratic Forces (RAFD), said it had seized the town of Biltine, some 60 km to the north, just a few hours later after light clashes with government troops. It was not immediately possible to confirm this.

Chad’s army said it had pulled back from Abeche to prevent civilian casualties after the early morning attack by several armed convoys.

Abeche lies on the main road to Chad’s capital, some 600 km to the west, and is 160 km (100 miles) from the border with Sudan.

Hundreds of people were killed in April when rebel columns reached N’Djamena after a lighting raid across the arid central African oil-producer.

"In order to spare civilian lives, the Chadian armed forces have deployed all around the town of Abeche," read a statement signed by General Adoum Gabgalia, deputy head of the chiefs of staff.

Chad repeated its accusations that Khartoum supports the rebels, who have carried out a number of attacks in the east in recent months. Sudan denies aiding the rebels.

Aid workers in Abeche had been woken by the sound of intense automatic rifle fire and heavier weapons coming from the outskirts of the town. This lasted for around an hour.

A stream of wounded troops, from both government and rebel forces, arrived at hospitals in the dusty town, and looters took to the streets, ransacking shops after the government troops pulled out, diplomats and aid workers said.

"The situation has been calm since this morning, with just the occasional shot being fired. The rebels remain in control of the town," Claire Bourgeois, head of the United Nation’s refugee agency (UNHCR) in eastern Chad, told Reuters. "The rebels have assured us they will not harm humanitarian workers."


The French military, which has forces stationed in Abeche under a defence cooperation accord with the government, was bringing its citizens to its base and had offered humanitarian workers sanctuary there, diplomats said.

"The French have secured the air base and all flights have been grounded," said one foreign diplomat, adding the Chadian army barracks had been plundered.

Diplomats said the Chadian military appeared to have pulled back toward Oum-Hadjer, some 120 km on the road toward N’Djamena. Chad’s Defence Minister Bichara Issa Djadallah had told Reuters that reinforcements were heading toward Abeche.

Eastern Chad, where UNHCR runs camps for thousands of refugees from Sudan’s Darfur and for displaced Chadians, has descended into lawlessness, with frequent rebel attacks and incursions by Janjaweed militia from across the border.

France, which stations some Mirage fighters at its Abeche base, has in the past backed the Deby government against the rebels with logistics and intelligence support.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

In memory of Kerbino Wol 2020-06-29 08:17:47 By Robert Portada On 5 June 2020, Kerbino Wol announced that he was standing in solidarity with fellow citizens deep in the sacred land of South Sudan and launching the official manifesto of the (...)

Sudan: Dynamics of change and resistance of political parties to change  2020-06-26 19:15:55 By: Hussein Arko Menawi When we look at the political timeline in Sudan it gives us strong evidence, how the political future in Sudan is critical, bleak and confusing. It is also a good (...)

Sudan’s legitimate request for UN assistance. Who the opponents are and what their ulterior motives? (3-3) 2020-06-26 12:08:29 By: Trayo A. Al Ali Trayo Keep the focus on: Regardless of any inadvertent diversion punctuates the course of this discussion, it is extremely important for the reader to strickly keep the focus (...)


Latest Press Releases

S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


Copyright © 2003-2020 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.