Darfur and Chad: A Fragmented Ethnic Mosaic
One year has passed since the rebel offensive on N’Djamena almost toppled Deby. The date of the rebel offensive was not chosen at random: the rebels and their Sudanese backers feared that the arrival of peacekeepers in Chad would support Deby’s regime. After the February foiled putsch, the situation remained politically, economically and socially unstable in spite of the deployment of EUFOR, soon to be replaced by UN peacekeepers.
In this state of insecurity, the conspicuous display of NGOs and UN agencies present in the field cannot afford to act boldly. Besides, the recruitment by Darfur rebel groups in Chad’s camps is threatening aid. Humanitarians face a serious challenge to their independence in the provision of aid.
Nowadays, the rainy season approaches again. The future is uncertain: a status quo or another attempted coup d’état, a return of the rebels and fresh outbreaks of fighting, indeed a real possibility.
In the meantime, the government forbids the use of charcoal in N’Djamena and reportedly confiscates any found in the city. In order to fight desertification and halt tree cutting for fuel, a charcoal ban now complicates the already dire living conditions in the country. Paradoxically, the government tries to do business as usual.