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Fighting in Chad’s Capital Ebbs, but Problems Loom

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Fighting in Chad’s Capital Ebbs, but Problems Loom

Post by shammy on Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:16 am

8th February, 2008

After three days of fierce fighting between government troops and rebels here, most of the civilian dead had been carried off, mourned and buried by their families. But the dead rebels had been lying in the streets for days, abandoned by their fleeing compatriots, bloating amid black clouds of flies. Even the soldiers held their noses.

“We are just cleaning the garbage off the streets of Ndjamena,” said Hassana Abdoulaye, the provincial governor, smiling as he watched a crew of firemen heave the corpses into a bright yellow front loader, which then tipped them into a dump truck headed for a mass grave. Just a few smears of dried blood remained.

“Everything is back to normal,” Mr. Abdoulaye said.

Chad’s president, Idriss Déby, dressed in military fatigues with five stars pinned to his chest, was in a jubilant mood as he declared at a news conference at the presidential palace on Wednesday that “we have control, not only of the capital but of the whole country.”

But other remnants of the battle that nearly toppled Chad’s government last weekend will not be wiped away so easily. The clash has heightened tensions between Chad and Sudan, threatening to pull the two neighbors deeper into each other’s vexing problems.

Each country accuses the other of fomenting rebellions across their shared border, and now that Sudanese rebels who had previously been focused on their own struggle in the western Sudanese province of Darfur have come to the aid of Mr. Déby, it has added fuel to the cross-border enmity.


Chadians venture out


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