(AFP) – Dec 6, 2007
NDJAMENA (AFP) — Chadian forces have clashed for two days with a rebel group near the southeastern border with Sudan and the Central African Republic, both sides said Thursday.
"Army troops came across groups of rebels near Tissi on Wednesday and fought them off," said a Chadian military source in the capital Ndjamena.
A spokesman for the rebel Popular Front for National Rebirth (FPRN) confirmed the clashes which he said continued on Thursday morning and claimed that the insurgents held the upper hand over the government forces.
There was no mention of casualties from either side.
Observers consider the FPRN, led by ex-colonel Adoum Yacoub, to be a minor rebel group compared to Chad's main insurgent outfits.
The Rally of Forces for Change (RFC) and the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development (UFDD), the two main rebel groups in Chad, have said recently they are coordinating their battle against President Idriss Deby Itno.
The Chadian army fought heavy battles against RFC forces Tuesday in the east of the country near the border with Sudan's troubled Darfur region, prompting warnings from the UN of an impending refugee crisis.
The UFDD has fought three major battles with the army, also in eastern Chad, in the past 10 days.
A rights group said earlier Thursday that the Chadian authorities had sacked and arrested two local officials following clashes last month between the army and a fourth rebel group, the United Front for Change (FUC).
The sultan of the Dar Tama region and the prefect of the town of Guereda were sacked on November 30 following the clashes, said Massalbaye Tenebaye, head of the Chadian Human Rights League.
The prefect is a member of the FUC and the sultan is accused of sympathising with the rebels, who along with two other groups have been fighting the army in recent weeks, Tenebaye told AFP.
"They were kidnapped in an extrajudicial manner on November 30 by the National Security Agency," Tenebaye said.
"According to some sources they were taken to Abeche (the main town in eastern Chad), then to Ndjamena but were held in secret," he said, adding that no official reason had been given for their arrest.
A top Chadian official told AFP that the two men had been stripped of their functions and had been "arrested and taken to Abeche". He gave no reason for the move.
Dar Tama was the scene in October of deadly inter-ethnic clashes between the Tama and Zaghawa peoples which prompted the authorities to impose a state of emergency in northern and eastern Chad, which remains in place.
The FUC is made up mainly of Tamas and their relations remain strained with the Zaghawas, the ethnic group of President Deby.
Copyright © 2014 AFP. All rights reserved. More »