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Arab-supremacist jihad expands in North-Central Africa
Update from AP: Chad Breaks Ties With Sudan After Assault
This article caught my eye for what's apparently been overlooked in it: as usual, the underlying element of jihad:
From AFP, via Yahoo! News: "Chad repels rebel attack, points finger at Sudan"
Chad claimed it had put down a bid by rebels to topple President Idriss Deby Itno and blamed neighbouring Sudan for fomenting the coup attempt.
The rebel columns have been completely destroyed... The situation is completely under control," Deby told Radio France Internationale (RFI) early on Thursday.
Intense fighting broke out on the outskirts of N'Djamena at dawn as rebels of the United Front for Change (FUC) advanced on the capital, a number of them entering the city, military sources said.
... The north-central African country plays host to some 200,000 refugees from Sudan's western Darfur region, but on Thursday, officials said large numbers of Chadian civilians fleeing the escalating fighting between government troops and rebels were crossing into Darfur.
There's more to it than that; here's what's not being said:
This is more than a localized conflict, in proximity to Darfur. The rebels in this article were active in N'Djamena, the capital city, which is in the southern half of the country near the western border with Cameroon.
Chad is also a petroleum-producing country. The oilfields? They're in the south, as well.
Though Muslim, the target of the coup attempt, President Idriss Déby Itno, is a member of the Zaghawa
tribe, which, interestingly, is found mainly in Eastern Chad and Western Sudan, including Darfur
. Moreover, the Zaghawa are the dominant political force in Chad, but a local minority in Sudan. And yes, like the victims of the government-backed janjaweed
in Sudan, they're not Arabs.
This isn't the first time Chad has been targeted by an Arab neighbor, with Libya seizing and holding the Aozou Strip in the north of the country from 1976 to 1987.
It's not difficult to connect the geopolitical dots. Chad is seen as ripe for the sort of activity that has plagued Sudan; if it falls to sympathizers with Khartoum, only mostly Christian/animist Cameroon stands in the way of creating an unbroken chain of Islamist territory from northern Nigeria to Sudan, and paving the way to spread Arab influence in North Africa further south.