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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06NDJAMENA539
2006-04-14 14:10:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Ndjamena
Cable title:  

CHAD: MORNING AFTER

Tags:   PGOV  AESC  MOPS  CH 
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VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNJ #0539/01 1041410
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 141410Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3532
INFO RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1035
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 0691
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0132
RUEHLC/AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE 0788
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1277
RUEHNM/AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 2582
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1665
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 1064
						UNCLAS NDJAMENA 000539 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF, AF/C, INR, DRL, DS/IP/AF, DS/IP/ITA;
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICAWATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV AESC MOPS CH
SUBJECT: CHAD: MORNING AFTER

REF: NDJAMENA 530

UNCLAS NDJAMENA 000539

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF, AF/C, INR, DRL, DS/IP/AF, DS/IP/ITA;
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICAWATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV AESC MOPS CH
SUBJECT: CHAD: MORNING AFTER

REF: NDJAMENA 530


1. (SBU) Summary: Approximately one hundred prisoners were
displayed on the parade grounds in Ndjamena the morning after
the April 13 fighting, amid government nervousness that a
number of rebels had fled. The French are widely perceived
to have been crucial to beating the rebels. Some senior
Chadian Arabs have been arrested. Chad has kept most of its
forces in the East and maintained control of Adre. Most
Embassy personnel and families who were scheduled to depart
April 14 did so, and Peace Corps Volunteers departed this
morning April 15. Remaining Embassy personnel are permitted
to go back to their houses and circulate in the city with
caution. End Summary.


2. (SBU) After the thunder of guns the previous day
(reftel), Ndjamena awoke April 14 to general quiet, as the
city largely returned to normal, in terms of businesses open,
vehicles circulating, people milling about, and absence of
checkpoints even before the presidential palace. But police
patrols and military transport continue to be more in
evidence than normally. Approximately one hundred claimed
rebel prisoners were on display for journalists at the
principal parade ground, and Chadian soldiers thought to have
been complicit with the rebels were also on display. There
are reports of hospitals being much fuller than normal, with
wounded soldiers as well civilian bystanders caught in the
fray.


3. (SBU) It does not appear that the fighting on the morning
of April 13 spread widely even in the northeastern and
eastern sections of town. The area of the Kempinski Hotel
and National Assembly were hardest hit, while much of the
gunfire and mortars must have occurred in distant suburbs or
areas outside the city. FSNs report that some homes in an
outlying village were hit by the Chadian helicopter, as the
village was thought to have sheltered rebels. Military
sources and FSNs report that rebels left their vehicles
outside the city and walked in induring the course of the
night, and once the tide of fighting went against them, some
shed their military garb and put on Arab-style garb to blend

into the Muslim populace. There is widespread concern that
some of the rebels were thus able to escape. Police sources
indicate that 50 rebels have regrouped in Dourbali southeast
of Ndjamena (the direction whence the rebels came toward
Ndjamena), and the Chadian military is moving today to
confront them. We are not aware of mass desertions by
Chadian soldiers in favor of the rebels. The populace
appears to have given them some succor but remained largely
neutral. (Comment: The battle never tilted enough in the
rebels' favor to test military or popular loyalty, however
tepid such loyalty appears to be, even in the military. End
comment.)


4. (SBU) We have names of two senior Chadian Arabs who have
been detained for collusion with the rebels, Ali Mahamat Zene
Ali Fadal (director of SOTEL and a former minister) and Col.
Admat Fadoule Makayr, military Chief of Staff, but it appears
that many arrests have occurred, especially among Chadian
Arabs. Comment: It is too early to determine whether there
will be an Arab witchhunt, but some in the Chadian Arab
community maintain close connections to Sudan, the janjaweed,
and Libya. End comment.)


5. (SBU) France is roundly perceived as having been
instrumental in the victory. Opposition leader Lol Mahamat
Choua, speaking to the Ambassador April 14, sounded a theme
we have heard from all sides, that French military aircraft
bombed the rebels and gave the Chadian armed forces vital
information about their location.


6. (SBU) In a radio interview, Deby's rebel relative Timan
Erdimi April 14 regretted the rebel move 500 miles across
Chad to Ndjamena as poorly thought out and uncoordinated (at
least with Erdimi's fellow Zaghawa rebels). He also claimed
that the Darfur rebel group SLM had given the Chadian armed
forces essential help in the simultaneous battle that has
unfolded at Adre on the Sudanese border. (Note: SLM
representative in Ndjamena Adam Shoggar called DCM as the
rebels neared Njdamena April 12 to express concern for his
and the Darfur rebels' safety, if the rebels were to succeed
in taking over Ndjamena. Deby has signficantly patched up
relations with the SLM since last December. End Note.)
According to a police source in Abeche, the Chadian armed
forces continue to hold Adre, but further attacks in the East
are expected.


7. (U) With resumption of normal life in Ndjamena and a
general sense that even if rebels are still in the vicinity
they no longer represent a significant threat to security,
Embassy has decided that remaining personnel can go back to
their houses and can circulate on the streets and in the city
with caution. Twenty-five of 29 staff and family that
sought voluntary departure departed on Air France on the
evening of April 13, and the others will follow suit shortly.
The 29 Peace Corps Volunteers crossed the Chari River into
Cameroon this morning, and the Peace Corps staff have also
departed Chad or will be doing so shortly. The American
School is closed until further notice. The new Departmental
travel warning, which asks American citizens to defer travel
to Chad, has been conveyed to the American community through
the warden system.
WALL