Monday, June 16, 2008

Chad Heats Up In Iran Driven Offensive

There has been a new offensive by Islamist rebels backed by the Sudan and Iran against the neighboring country of Chad in an effort to take over the country and oust President Idriss D├ęby.

The rebels claim to have seized three towns and say they are preparing to march on the capitol of N'Djamena.

I'd be surprised if that was the case. This is more like a warm up to the real thing.

The Islamist rebels, known as the National Alliance have their base in the eastern part of Chad, the part that abuts Sudan, and they are supported, armed and financed by the Sudanese government of Omar al-Bashir. In an interesting coincidence, Chad has oil and uranium deposits, which are also are in the eastern part of the country, right on the Sudan's borders. That's also the part of the country most heavily dominated by Muslims, and Darfur, which also has oil is the buffer between the two countries. That should provide some answers to anyone able to add two and two together as to why the al-Bashir regime is so anxious to get the existing inhabitants out of the way by whatever means.

As I reported previously, Iran has serious ambitions in Africa.

Aside from Iran and Hezbollah's sponsorship of The Islamic Courts in Somalia,Iran recently concluded a comprehensive military aid and mutual defense pact with the jihadist regime in the Sudan this March, which involves Iran arming and training the Sudanese army. That will undoubtedly include the Sudan's militia forces like the janjiweed in Darfur and the National Alliance in Chad.

What we could very likely see in Chad as this arrangement takes hold is a Iranian-backed insurgency similar to what occurred in Lebanon and in Iraq, involving the assassination of political figures,bombings in public places to terrorize the local population and ambushes and IEDs targeting Chad's army, and perhaps even the 2200 EU peacekeepers in the country, mainly from France.

Under the terms of their mission, the EU troops are supposed to be leaving in less than a year anyway, and if they start absorbing casualties I wouldn't be surprised to see the EU pull them out even sooner.

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