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Rebel Uprising in Eastern Chad Fizzles, but Security Remains Elusive

Friday, June 27, 2008

ABECHE, Chad -- Three weeks after Chadian rebels mounted their third major challenge this year to President Idriss D├ęby's troubled regime, the fighting has dwindled to a few isolated gunfights on the barren eastern border with Sudan.

Instead of the regime-toppling attack that the Sudan-based rebels promised in their press releases -- something akin to their February offensive that reached downtown N'Djamena on the country's western border -- the spring attacks apparently never reached more than 50 miles inside Chad. In mid-June, rebels briefly occupied a number of towns, only to depart hours later regardless of whether the Chadian army offered up any resistance. Governor Ramadan Erdebou of Biltine, a town of 25,000 just north of the major eastern city of Abeche, said rebels arrived in his town one morning at 11 a.m., and left around 6 p.m. Chadian soldiers showed up, too, only to evacuate after a four-hour stay. ...

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