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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06NDJAMENA1334
2006-11-15 16:21:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Ndjamena
Cable title:  

IDP CRISIS IN GOZ BEIDA

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  PHUM  PREF  CD  SU 
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VZCZCXRO9810
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHNJ #1334/01 3191621
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151621Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4577
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NDJAMENA 001334 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PREF CD SU
SUBJECT: IDP CRISIS IN GOZ BEIDA

REF: N'DJAMENA 01327

SUMMARY
-------


1. (SBU) Goz Beida has become significantly more
unstable as a result of attacks on villages which have
produced a new wave of internally displaced persons
(IDPs). Attempts to tally numbers of individuals and
families are underway, but UNHCR staff from the town of
Kou Kou-Angarana estimated that recent IDP arrivals
could number up to 5,000. A scorched-earth policy
meanwhile is underway as Arab attackers, the majority
of whom are suspected to be Chadian, enter and burn
villages in an intensified conflict over land and
grazing rights. While on a mission to visit the
remains of a village in Leboutigue I, OFDA official and
Poloff were forced to evacuate after warning shots were
fired as their delegation toured the site. There is no
time or geographic pattern to the attacks, and UNHCR
Goz Beida reports that many attacks occur
simultaneously, suggesting an increased level of
sophistication among organizers and perpetrators of the
violence. In response, five Government of Chad (GOC)
Ministers have been deployed in the Goz Beida vicinity.
END SUMMARY.

SKYROCKETING INSECURITY


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




2. (SBU) Since November 5-6, sustained attacks on
villages in and around Goz Beida by marauding bands of
Arabs have resulted in scores of villages attacked,
looted and burned; in innumerable civilian casualties;
and in a new wave of IDPs. UNHCR staff from Kou Kou-
Angarana estimated that IDPs, now sleeping on roadsides
between Goz Beida and Kerfi and under trees throughout
the region, could number up to 5,000. The Goz Beida
Hospital has no more beds available to treat the flow
of gunshot wounds and burn patients it is receiving,
and UNICEF is providing mats and blankets for those
"non-critical" overflow patients who are forced to
sleep outside on the hospital grounds. Hospital staff
told Poloff November 13 they were expecting two
truckloads of wounded from violence in Koloi within the
next 24 hours.



3. (SBU) New IDPs (about 200 families) from the village
of Domboli (15 km from Goz Beida) recounted for Poloff
what seems to be the standard modus operandi of the
recent attacks. These IDPs had fled their village on
November 10, after a group of 30 Arabs entered at
approximately 09:00, opened fire on the local
population and then confiscated their animals. The
Arabs stayed in the village for three days to ensure it
was emptied of villagers.



4. (SBU) Victims of the violence are from the Dadjo
tribe, and the perpetrators are "Arab," according to
IDPs. This group includes local Chadian Arabs, members
of tribes allied with Chadian Arabs (including the Mimi
and the Ouddai) and Janjaweed elements. The attackers

are reported to be on horseback carrying Kalashnikovs,
and so far the Goz Beida Hospital has confirmed only
one Arab alliance injury, a Mimi (tribal group
affiliated with Arabs) woman who was beaten by her
Dadjo neighbors. IDPs reported to both UNHCR and to
Poloff that it was difficult to tell Chadians from
Sudanese in the attacks, the majority of which took
them by surprise. There is widespread confirmation
among those attacked that the perpetrators "are our
neighbors," illustrating the Chadian-against-Chadian
nature of the crisis.



5. (SBU) Poloff and visiting OFDA representative
experienced this latest violence firsthand on November
13 when they, along with several UNHCR representatives,
were touring the village of Leboutingue I, which had
just been attacked and burned. Less than ten minutes
into the visit, at least three shots from an
approximate distance of 500m were fired, presumably as
a warning to the delegation, which was inspecting and
photographing the devastation. The group was forced
back to their two vehicles and left the scene without
further incident. Both Embassy N'Djamena and UNHCR
were alerted immediately. NBC News reported the
incident and noted that USAID staff has been shot at.



6. (SBU) Speculation remains over the motivation for
this latest campaign of ethnic violence. UNHCR Goz
Beida describes it as a conflict over land and grazing
rights. On the one hand, villagers accuse the Arabs of
burning grazing land (which was observed ablaze by
Poloff on November 13) to prevent their return to the
region. On the other hand, Arabs contend that the

NDJAMENA 00001334 002 OF 002


villagers themselves set fire to grazing land as they
were fleeing in a desperate attempt to prevent the
attackers' return to the region with their cattle,
horses and camels.

GOC RESPONDS


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




7. (SBU) The GOC dispatched five Ministers - Defense,
Public Security, Cooperation, Agriculture and Interior
- to Goz Beida and Kerfi in response to violence there
following announcement of a state of emergency
(reftel), but UNHCR Goz Beida claims that any concerted
GOC plan of action remains unarticulated. The
statement by the GOC placed the blame for this
insecurity squarely on Sudan. As part of the GOC's
declaration of a state of emergency, the GOC was
imposing "pre-broadcast censorship" on all media
reporting in Chad. As if to prove its point, the Goz
Beida Prefet expelled Radio France One reporter Sonja
Rolley, an accredited journalist whose radio
commentaries in French are broadcast throughout the
country, from Goz Beida on the morning of November 13,
hours before the state of emergency was declared. NBC
and New York Times journalists reporting from Goz Beida
proceeded with their live coverage from the camps but
feared confiscation of equipment upon exit from the
country.