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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06NDJAMENA1184
2006-10-02 16:53:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Ndjamena
Cable title:  

SECURITY IN EASTERN CHAD FOLLOWING GOC-REBEL

Tags:   PGOV  PHUM  PREF  ASEC  CD  SU 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO6985
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHNJ #1184/01 2751653
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 021653Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4413
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NDJAMENA 001184 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF, D, DRL, PRM; LONDON AND PARIS FOR
AFRICAWATCHERS; GENEVA FOR CAMPBELL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/30/2016
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREF ASEC CD SU
SUBJECT: SECURITY IN EASTERN CHAD FOLLOWING GOC-REBEL
CLASHES

REF: NDJAMENA 1167

Classified By: ECONOMIC/CONSULAR OFFICER JITU SARDAR FOR REASONS 1.4 (B
) AND (D)



1. (C) SUMMARY: Following the most recent clashes in eastern
Chad between GOC forces and Chadian rebels, President Deby
has returned to N'Djamena and is trying to negotiate with
individual rebel factions, but still appears to be
reinforcing his military along the eastern front. The rebels
appear to be attempting to organize themselves for a future
offensive in the coming weeks or months. Chadian authorities
are convinced that the Chadian rebels are continuing to
receive assistance from the Sudanese government. END SUMMARY.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
THE BATTLES OF ARAM KOLLE AND HADJER MARFAINE
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



2. (C) Following Embassy N'Djamena reporting in reftel on
the fighting that took place on September 12 in Aram Kolle
(near the eastern Chadian town of Guereda) and September 19
in Hadjer Marfaine (located north of Adre), we have received
more information from UNHCR and Embassy contacts on both
battles. According to them, the GOC deployed over 5,000
troop to the area of Hadjer Marfaine to dislodge Chadian
rebel groups allied to the Rally of Democratic Forces (RaFD),
led Timan Erdimi, a relative of Deby and an influential
member in Deby's Zaghawa tribe. Deby personally went to
oversee the military operations when he learned that his
troops were reluctant to fight against the RaFD rebels, many
of whom were former army deserters and relatives of officers
in the Chadian national army.



3. (C) According to UNHCR's sources in the GOC and French
military, the Chadian national army movement was hampered in
Hadjer Marfaine by poor road conditions, which eventually
permitted rebel groups to reinforce their defensive positions
and mount a series of ambushes that inflicted a number of
casualties on the Chadian military. UNHCR sources in the
Chadian military hospital in Abeche reported that the medical
staff received 119 injured soldiers, and were unable to treat
all of the wounded. While no one can confirm the number of
soldiers who died in the combat, the Chadian rebels publicly
claim that 213 Chadian soldiers were killed, 164 were
wounded, 47 were taken prisoner. The rebels also claimed to
have lost four soldiers, and had 17 wounded fighters.



4. (C) In the area of Aram Kolle, which was the site of a
September 12 confrontation between GOC troops and rebels
loyal to the United Force for Change (FUC), led by Chadian
rebel leader Mahamat Nour, clashes took place again on
September 22 in what GOC sources described as a "clean-up
operation" to remove 100 rebels who were still in the area.
According to UNHCR's sources, these operations, while more
effective than the GOC's activities in Hadjer Marfaine, still

failed to neutralize the FUC rebels, and some GOC soldiers
were apparently reluctant to fight.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
NEXT STEPS FOR GOC AND REBELS
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



5. (C) Local GOC authorities have already admitted that the
Chadian national army suffered an unexpected defeat at the
hands of rebels in Hadjer Marfaine. Complicating matters in
the unknown whereabouts of former Chadian Minister of Defense
and prominent Chadian rebel leader Mahamat Nouri, who is
reported close to the border between Chad and Central African
Republic. Nouri, who commands a fairly sizable rebel group,
reportedly assisted the RaFD's counter-offensive against the
GOC and inflicted a number of casualties against the Chadian
national army.



6. (C) Presidential Security Advisor Abderahmane Moussa told
the Ambassador n September 25 that advisors asked President
Deb to return to N'Djamena, as he was accomplishing lttle
by remaining in the field and could potentilly be targeted
by rebel groups. He told the Ambssador that the
interactions in Hadjer Marfaine ndicated that Zaghawa
relatives in the Chadian military and rebel movement did not
want to fight each other, making future offensives
potentially difficult to mount. The possibility of
defections to the rebel cause, and the sharing of information
between GOC and rebel elements sharing familial ties, would
further hamper the GOC's military activities. In order for
the violence to stop, according to Moussa, the GOC would have
to consider a political solution that involved the
politico-military elements. Presidential Cabinet Director

NDJAMENA 00001184 002 OF 002


Mahamat Hisseine told the Ambassador on September 27 that the
GOC was already beginning negotiations with individual rebel
groups.



7. (C) Embassy contact Yacoub Abdelwahid told
Economic/Consular officer on September 28 that his GOC
sources confirmed that negotiations were taking place, but
described the negotiations as the "buy-off" of specific rebel
groups to ensure that the individual rebel groups would not
organize into a large-scale movement against the GOC. He
also noted that the GOC would continue to reinforce its
military positions in Hadjer Marfaine, in anticipation of a
rebel offensive, as the rebels were emboldened by their
relative success against the GOC on September 19. Various
rebel groups, according to Abdelwahid, were planning to hold
a conference in Sudan in the coming weeks to unite
politically, and organize their military efforts for a
large-scale offensive against the Chadian national army.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
POSSIBLE SUDANESE INVOLVEMENT
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



8. (C) The conference, noted Abdelwahid, will not include
Sudanese officials. Nevertheless, GOC officials claim that
the Sudanese government is still providing support to the
Chadian rebel movement. Presidential Security Advisor
Abderahmane Moussa told the Ambassador that Sudan was
involved in providing intelligence to the rebel movements on
the GOC's activities (accusations that were also made by NMRD
representatives during past meetings with the Ambassador).
During a brief meeting with Economic/Consular officer on
September 29, the Governor of Ouaddai claimed that Chadian
rebels wounded during the clashes in Hadjer Marfaine were
receiving medical treatment in El Genina from Sudanese
doctors. He also asserted that the Sudanese were continuing
to provide weapons, munitions, and vehicles to the Chadian
rebel movements.

- - -
COMMENT
- - -



9. (C) If negotiations with the rebel groups fail, we should
expect another attack to take place in the coming months.
Attempts by the various Chadian rebel groups in the past have
failed. But if they could succeed this time, this, together
with a Chadian army that is reluctant to fight against their
Zaghawa relatives, could spell disaster for the Deby regime.
If allegations of Sudanese support are true, we can probably
expect the Chadians to begin open support for Sudanese rebel
movements operating against the Sudanese Armed Forces in
Darfur.



10. (U) Tripoli Minimize Considered.
WALL