Forgotten Conflicts: Conflict in Chad

The widespread nature of the conflict in Sudan has been highlighted in the media coverage of Darfur, yet little attention has been directed to what has been happening across the border.

Tens of thousands of displaced people in eastern Chad are hoping that the political promises made recently between the President Idriss Deby and Sudan’s President Omer Al-Bashir will finally broker a lasting peace in the region. The decades-long conflict in Sudan has resulted in a spillover of violence from the Darfur region into the north-east territory of Chad, with Darfurian refugees adding to the numbers of Chadians already displaced by the conflict. Aid agencies working in the region have suffered kidnappings and security threats. The UN deployed extra troops into the region last year, but with numerous rebel groups launching an armed opposition to the government insecurity still reigns.

On February 9th, the two Presidents vowed to work together to bring about peace and stability in the region. They will target the opposition groups and aim to enter into peace talks with them to bring a halt to the violence across the border, with Al-Bashir asserting “We have decided that the border will be for mutual benefits and social relations and not to be a passageway of weapons”. It will also see an enhanced military operation patrolling the border, in an attempt to implement peace agreements signed in recent years.

However, there is still a long way to go, and the ethnic and political tensions underlying the conflict will take time to resolve. Moreover, there are fears that without a distinct UN presence in the region (after the Chadian President ordered the departure of UN troops) the population will be vulnerable to further outbreaks of violence.

The prospect of peace in the region remains fragile, but the renewed partnership between the two governments offers some hope for the future.

Published in: on February 18, 2010 at 1:36 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Some hope was delivered, but, unfortunately, not to the civilians in IDP camps or refugees in Chad.

    UN presence is merely a farce. Kofi Annan described Darfur as the place of “mockery of our claims as international community to shield people from the worst abuses.”

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