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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05NDJAMENA1020
2005-06-27 12:05:00
SECRET//NOFORN
Embassy Ndjamena
Cable title:  

CHADIAN REBELS, RUMORS, REALITIES, AND REACTIONS

Tags:   PGOV  PHUM  PREF  CD  SU 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

271205Z Jun 05

ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   USNW-00  INL-00   PERC-00  DS-00    
      EUR-00   OIGO-00  FBIE-00  H-00     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    
      LAB-01   M-00     NEA-00   DCP-00   NSCE-00  OIC-00   OMB-00   
      NIMA-00  GIWI-00  FMPC-00  IRM-00   SSO-00   SS-00    SCRS-00  
      DSCC-00  PRM-00   DRL-00   G-00     SAS-00   SWCI-00    /001W
                  ------------------0A2459  271244Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1883
INFO DARFUR COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
USLO TRIPOLI 
USMISSION GENEVA
						S E C R E T  NDJAMENA 001020 

SIPDIS


NOFORN

DEPARTMENT FOR AF, AF/C, AF/SPG, D, DRL, DS/ICI/ATA,
DS/ICI/AF, INR, INR/GGI, PRM, USAID/OTI AND USAID/W FOR
DAFURRMT; LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICAWATCHERS; GENEVA FOR
CAMPBELL, ADDIS/NAIROBI/KAMPALA FOR REFCOORDS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/20/2015
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREF CD SU
SUBJECT: CHADIAN REBELS, RUMORS, REALITIES, AND REACTIONS

REF: A. KHARTOUM IIR 6 890 0290 05


B. NDJAMENA 835

C. NDJAMENA 565

D. NDJAMENA 658

E. NDJAMENA 946

Classified By: Political/Economic Officer Kathleen FitzGibbon for reaso
ns 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (S NF) Summary: Speculation about the existence of
Chadian rebel groups continues to make Chadians uneasy about
the regime's stability. The often conflicting reports and
wide-ranging opinions about the size, composition,
capabilities, and agendas of Chadian rebel groups make it
difficult to judge the nature of their threat to the regime.
Most observers believe there are Chadian rebels, loosely
defined, in several groups along the Sudanese border.
However, no one agrees on the numbers of the rebels or the
exact threat they pose to the Government of Chad. The GOC
acknowledges the existence of the rebel groups, but tends to
play down its concerns to outsiders. Nonetheless, the GOC
itself is helping to heighten tensions by continuing to
question, detain, and arrest journalists, who refuse to
divulge their sources of open letters from allegedly rebel
movements. The journalists are being charged with printing
information to incite a revolt. We appreciate Embassy
Khartoum's reporting on this issue. End Summary.

- - - - - - - -
PLAN OF ATTACK
- - - - - - - -



2. (S NF) In recent weeks, several Embassy sources
including area residents, African Union observers, and
members of the Darfur rebel movements have outlined pieces of
a plan by Chadian rebels to launch an attack in July or
August, during the raining season which corroborate reporting
from Khartoum (Ref A). The most specific report about rebel
plans that we have received comes from Abdelkader Yacine
Bakhit, who was an advisor to former Prime Minister Kabadi
and is the uncle of the Sultan of Goz Beida. The information
passed to us from the Sultanate through Bakhit indicates that
The various rebel groups have mobile training camps and move
between Darfur and the Chadian border. The rebels believe
that it will be difficult for the Chadian military to
maneuver to defend itself. The Government of Sudan
reportedly intends to use jandjaweed (many of whom are
Chadian Arabs) and the Chadian rebel groups to attack Chad
along the Kaja and Azoum Rivers during a three month window
beginning in July or August.



3. (S NF) According to this information, the rebels' actual
targets are unspecified, but attacks allegedly might occur
near Tissi, Dagassou, Modoihyria and Ade, in the Sila
Department of Chad south of Abeche. These sources in Goz
Beida also believe that there may be a link between some of
these rebel groups and Mahamat Nour. Two other rebel leaders
mentioned are Adeledigue and Al Jinead, who are allegedly
being supplied by Khartoum. Their goal, according to these
sources, is regime change. After seizing power from
President Deby, the jandjaweed leaders associated with the

Chadian rebels and others reportedly will be able to escape
justice for crimes committed in Darfur.



4. (S NF) The Goz Beida sources identified nine training
camps for Chadian rebels. There also are reportedly five
jandjaweed leaders from Arab tribes, including the Salamat
and the Rachid tribes, and other individuals from the Mimi
and Ouaddai tribes, who are involved with the Arab Chadian
rebel leaders, which may include at least 12 colonels from
the Chadian army. It is not clear whether they are all
deserters or are currently on active duty. Increased
criminal and rebel activity has resulted in the formation of
self-defense forces in the Goz Beida region and caused the
migration of many residents to Goz Beida and Goz Amir. On
May 15, UNHCR and ICRC reported 4,000 displaced Chadians in
the area who are too afraid to go to their homes. (Ref B.)
On May 31, jandjaweed or Chadian rebels kidnapped three
persons, but returned them to Goz Amir three days later.
Some 200 women collected 5,000 Sudanese pounds to hire armed
men to protect them and their livestock.



5. (S NF) A visiting British military officer traveled to
Guereda to investigate some of the rumors about Chadian
rebels in the area (Ref A). Guereda is north of Abeche, east
of Koulbous, a key border crossing area. He told P/E officer
and DATT on June 24 that there may be some 300 rebels in and
around Guereda. Some of the local residents described the
presence of a large group of armed men between Guereda and
the border with Sudan. He also was told that the objective
of the group was regime change, but that the capabilities of
the group were not clear. He also heard that Chadian rebels
plan to attack during the rainy season. Local residents also
told him that the area was almost devoid of young men who may
have joined up with various rebel groups.



6. (S NF) Some Chadian Army officers may be in regular
contact with jandjaweed members, Chadian Arabs, and Chadian
rebels along the border. The Chadian military often conducts
raids near and across the border to retrieve stolen cattle
and camels from jandjaweed and bandits. DRL officers were
present during a meeting between Chadian Army officer,
jandjaweed, and other unnamed Chadian Arabs near Birak on
March 27 where the return of stolen livestock was being
negotiated. All of the participants in the meeting were
heavily armed, many were wearing watches showing Sudan time
on them. Local residents and humanitarian organizations note
that these types of interactions occur frequently along the
border as the various players, government and non-government
negotiate and barter over valuable commodities like cattle,
camels, arms, and fuel.

- - - - - - - -
CHAIN REACTION
- - - - - - - -



7. (S NF) We also are attempting to corroborate information
that there may be some attempts by rebel political and
military factions to coordinate their anti-government
activities. At the same time, there is some collaboration
among the political opposition and some army officers in
N'Djamena to counter an attempt by Mahamat Nour, Chadian
rebels, or coup plotters to seize power. On June 28, P/E
officer discussed the recent press articles about Nour and
his forces with General Damyo, the former Governor of Moyen
Chari who is now in N'Djamena. Damyo knows Nour well and
said that his objective is seizing power in N'Djamena. In
Damyo's opinion, a Nour-launched attack could start a chain
of events which would quickly get out of control. He doubts
that Nour could seize power, but his actions could prove
destabilizing. According to Damyo, he and other army
officers are worried that there is no real plan in place to
manage a non-violent transition should the Deby regime fall.
Damyo said that there have been a number of meetings between
army officers to come to agreement on scenarios for a smooth
political transition.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
KEEPING A REBEL SCORECARD?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -



8. (S NF) We have pieced together tidbits of information
from a variety of sources, including local press and offered
other information in previous reporting. (Refs C and D.)
There is some speculation that ethnic factors might be
inhibiting coordination among these groups. Allegedly, the
Arab leaders refuse to submit to the Tama-dominated groups.
The difficulty of movement posed by terrain, beefed up border
patrols, and lack of communications also may be hampering
various players from coalescing into a cohesive movement. In
terms of numbers, we have heard a range of figures from 300
to 1,000.



9. (U) Mahamat Nour clearly is the most talked-about Chadian
rebel. A former member of the National Alliance for the
Resistance (ANR), Nour and his group allegedly received
training and support from the GOS and Libya. Nour was
trained in France and Senegal. He was pictured and quoted in
the independent newspaper Le Temps (May 18-24) as saying that
he intended to take power, put in place a transition that
would last one year, and organize free and fair elections in
Chad. His group includes Bechir Hamdan, Abdallah Gogue

(operations commander), and Ismail Idriss. Another member of
the former ANR with alleged ties to Nour, Col. Saroua, was
arrested in Chad by the National Security Agency (ANS) on
September 24, 2004. He may have been released, but we have
no current information on his whereabouts.



10. (U) United Democratic Liberation's (UDL) leader is
Ousman Fall. No other information available.



11. (U) Revolutionary Movement's (MMR) leader may be
Abdullah Ramadan (not the same Ramadan of the Sudan
Liberation Movement). Ramadan is a former FROLINAT member
who worked closely with Abass Koty.



12. (U) Democratic and Revolutionary Council's (CDR)
political leader is Acheikh Ibn Omar, former Foreign Minister
and Chadian Ambassador to Washington, now living in Paris.
CDR's military wing may be led by Colonel Hassan Saleh Al
Ghadam, better known as Al Jineidi. He is a army officer of
Arab descent who was trained at the military academy in
Tripoli. Al Jineidi reportedly operates in the Dar Sila and
Salamat area of Chad. His forces allegedly work closely with
the jandjaweed, but also benefit from the complicity of local
officials.



13. (U) National Resistance Council (CNR) is rumored to be
led by Hissein Koty, a relation of assassinated Zaghawa-Kobe
leader Abass Koty. This group courts disaffected Zaghawa.



14. (U) We also have heard about the existence of another
rebel group comprised of ethnic Ouaddai. There also is rebel
activity along Chad's southern border with the Central
African Republic. A gang of unidentified Chadian rebels or
bandits reportedly attacked a village along the CAR and
Cameroon on June 15. Security forces reportedly killed ten
members of the group which had been terrorizing villages and
holding children for ransom. The group include Zaghawas who
helped bring CAR President Bozize to power.

- - - - - - - - - -
GOVERNMENT REACTION
- - - - - - - - - -



15. (S NF) RSO met with Minister for Public Security
Abderahman Moussa on June 23. Moussa identified Nour, Col.
Soubiane (brother or nephew of the former Chadian Ambassador
to the United States), and a third rebel by name. Moussa
expressed confidence that the Government of Chad knows the
limitations and capabilities of these groups. He also noted
that the GOC is in the initial stages of creating a new
security reaction force composed of gendarmes and nomadic
guard, which a new decree has placed under his control.
Local authorities report additional deployments of Chadian
military in the east in response to the potential threat
posed by armed banditry, jandjaweed incursions, ethnic
conflict between the Zaghawa and Ouaddai tribes, and Chadian
rebel groups.



16. (S NF) One indication of the government's concerns over
the Chadian rebels and other opponents, such as the Kreida,
is that several journalists have been picked up by the
National Security Agency (ANS) or the Ministry of Public
Security. (Ref E) On June 16, Mahamat Garonde Djarma, a
former Minister of Interior and occasional pundit, was picked
up by the ANS on June 16 for an article published in Le Temps
critical of the regime. On June 22, Michael Didama, the
director of Le Temps, was arrested for "printing material to
incite a revolt". On June 4, Samory Ngaradoumbe of
L'Obserateur was arrested by the ANS and then released on
June 6 by Public Security after the newspaper printed an open
complaint letter from the Kreida ethnic group. He was
re-arrested on June 20, charged with publishing material to
incite a revolt, and is in jail.

- - - -
COMMENT
- - - -



17. (C) It is difficult to determine the exact threat the
rebels pose to the Government. We estimate that at the very
least, the presence of a small, motivated group could have a


destabilizing effect in the east and, if allied, with groups
in N'Djamena, ignite a serious of anti-regime actions. The
GOC remains concerned about its opponents, regardless of its
stated confidence. The reported presence of the rebels in
the east, public disapproval for the government voiced
through the low turn-out for the referendum, the disaffection
of the Kreida ethnic group along Lake Chad, insecurity along
its southern and eastern border, and the circulation of
rumors about President Deby's health all are contributing to
heightened tensions in Chad. Embassy N'Djamena appreciates
the efforts of DAO Khartoum and other Embassy officers in
passing along information from the Sudanese side of the
border. We are pursuing our efforts to collect and verify
information about the Chadian rebels from this side of the
border.



18. (U) Khartoum and Tripoli Minimize Considered.
WALL


NNNN