Fresh crisis in the Sahel as the Chadian ceasefire ends FACT rebel group accuses interim government of bombing their camps
The Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) has announced an end to a ceasefire it declared in 2021.
The announcement was made Friday after it accused the interim government of Mahamat Idriss Deby for bombing one of its camps, declaring it an act of war. The move signals the resumption of hostilities between the rebels and N’Djamena.
The fighting led in 2021 led to the death of President Idriss Deby. FACT fighters crossed the border from Libya in April 2021 to take a stand against the elder Deby, whose 30-year rule they opposed.
They reached within 300 km (185 miles) of the capital N’Djamena before being pushed back by the army. His son Mahamat then seized power.
Since then as interim president Deby has sought to shore up a detente with Chad’s various rebel groups and has pardoned hundreds of FACT prisoners to encourage the group to participate fully in peace talks.
President of Chad Mahamat Idriss Deby
But in its statement, FACT accused the military of bombing its base in an attack on Wednesday that it said had killed three people.
“The military junta in power … has just declared war on us,” it said.
“In view of this, FACT breaks the unilateral ceasefire it declared in April 2021, and reassures the junta that its reaction will be quick and unrestrained.”
The Chadian government is yet to respond to the accusation.
Chad is a key power in central Africa and a longtime Western ally against Islamist militants across the Sahel region.
With the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) threatening military action on neighbouring Niger fears are growing that the entire Sahel will be engulfed in the first Africa world war.
Niger’s military-appointed prime minister made a visit on Tuesday to neighbouring Chad, holding talks with Deby, the presidential office said.
After the Niger coup, Chadian authorities said they will not be intervening militarily in Niger according to a defence ministry statement on state TV.
Akowe with additional sourcing from Reuters
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
- Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)