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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06KHARTOUM925 2006-04-17 10:12:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Khartoum
Cable title:  

CHAD-SUDAN BORDER QUIET, TENSE

Tags:   PGOV MOPS MASS PHUM PINR CD AU SU 
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1. (C) The situation along the Chad-Sudan border was reported
quiet on April 16 and 17. Chadian opposition forces are
reported on both sides of the border, with those inside Sudan
reportedly receiving ammunition and vehicle re-supply from
the Government of Sudan. From all appearances, Government of
Sudan security forces were involved in the attack on Adre on
April 13. Reports of large-scale refugee and IDP movements
appear to be false. End Summary.



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The First Report is Always Wrong


--------------------------





2. (SBU) Reports from NGOs in West Darfur that the Sudanese
Armed Forces (SAF) fired upon rebel forces returning from
Chad on April 13 (reftel) appear now to be wrong. The
shelling reported by NGOs and African Union Mission in Sudan
military observers (AMIS MILOBS) was, according to United
Nations security officers, fired in support of Chadian rebels
attacking the town of Adre. The UN believes the rebels were
engaged by Chadian armed forces (FAT) before reaching the
border, meaning that the artillery probably fell on Sudanese
territory rather than into Chad. This would seem to support
the assertions by AMIS milobs that throughout the morning,
the impact of the artillery rounds seemed to be coming closer
in to El Geneina.



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Some Chadian Opposition Returning to Sudan


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3. (C) An AMIS contact says El Geneina residents have stated
that Chadian rebels allied with the Forces United for Change
(FUC) returned to Sudan during the night of April 15 and have
been re-arming with support from the "military intelligence."
UN security analysts report that Chadian opposition forces
are present near Um Sariyah, Wadi Assum, and Mournei in West
Darfur. Local Darfurian contacts reported that that SAF
conducted an ammunition re-supply mission to El Geneina
airfield on April 15, and that ammunition was given to
Chadian opposition forces.



4. (C) Other UN sources reported that not all of the elements
of the armed opposition took part in the attempted coup. The
UN report claims that Zaghawa fighters who have broken with
Deby - the SCUD - were not part of the fighting but remained
in their training camps near Kulbus through Thursday.



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Was the GOS Involved?


--------------------------





5. (C) A restricted United Nations report claims that the
acting Wali of West Darfur "proudly announced on Thursday
morning that the Chadian opposition would be control of Chad
by the afternoon." UN officials reported that Sudanese
security officials watched much of the fighting from the
rooftop of the police headquarters building in El Geneina.
Apparently, the Wali, Deputy Wali, and Chief of National
Security for West Darfur are all out of the region.



6. (C) The same report claims that SAF forces took part in
the attack on Adre and the "national security has been
involved in bringing the injured back from the failed attack:
they have covered themselves by dressing the wounded in
jalabias." Seventy wounded were reportedly treated at the El
Geneina hospital and later evacuated to Khartoum.



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Failed Coordination


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7. (C) It appears the Adre attack was designed to be
coordinated with the incursions into N'Djamena and the FUC
mechanized column's dash from Mongo; perhaps as a fixing
attack - one to insure the troops in Adre could not be used
to reinforce another garrison - or perhaps simply to seize
several areas simultaneously.



--------------------------


What Next?


--------------------------





8. (C) Senior, non-Arab tribal leaders in West Darfur believe
the Chadian opposition will regroup for another try at the
Capital before the scheduled May 3 elections. If the reports
of opposition troops re-arming in Darfur are accurate, this
would appear to be an correct assessment.



--------------------------


General Security and Humanitarian Situation


--------------------------





9. (U) USAID partners report the situation generally calm in
and to the south of El Geneina. One USAID partner reported
that the road from El Geneina to Masteri was unsafe, and the
partner evacuated staff from Masteri in recent days.
According to USAID partners on the ground, Habila is calm,
although travel is only safe east to Mornei. The road south
to Foro Boranga and the Chadian border is considered too
dangerous. Beida, Kongo Haraza, and Ararah are open to UN
air traffic. USAID partners reports that during the last few
weeks, approximately 6000 Chadians have entered Habila
locality, with approximately 1800 in Habila town and others
in villages such as Gobe, Taweng, and Abu Dahiya. According
to humanitarian aid agencies, an April 17 report that 15000
Sudanese and Chadian displaced persons had moved in recent
days is untrue.
STEINFELD