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Chad: Déby visits the north after an "attack" on army positions

 Chad: Déby visits the north after an "attack" on army positions
Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Deby before a working lunch with French President   -  
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Michel Euler/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.


Chad's transitional president, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, has arrived in Bardaï, a town more than 1,000 km north of the capital N'Djamena, following an "attack" on army positions in the region, the presidency told AFP on Thursday.

"The purpose of the visit is to galvanize the troops and reinforce the existing apparatus in the wake of the attack on military positions "by armed elements claiming to be from the CCMSR", the Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic, presidential spokesman Brah Mahamat told AFP, without specifying how long Mr. Déby's trip would last.

In this desert region of the Tibesti Massif, Chad's main rebel movements, which have long been based in southern neighboring Libya, maintain bases from which they harass troops and, in spring 2021, launched an offensive in which they killed President Idriss Déby Itno on the front line.

The CCMSR is one of the country's most active rebel movements, based in southern Libya, from where it operates on both sides of the Libyan and Chadian borders.

This movement recently claimed that on the night of August 9-10, its men "carried out a lightning assault against the enemy of the Chadian people (the ruling junta) in the Wour and Kouri areas".

Wour and Kouri are respectively around 100 km west and 150 km east of Bardaï, where Mr. Déby is visiting.

These "simultaneous attacks" on three Chadian positions resulted in "several deaths", including two among the rebels, according to Choueb Adoum, in charge of external relations for the CCMSR.

In a recent communiqué, the CCMSR claimed to have "captured alive" 23 soldiers, destroyed nine armored vehicles and stolen various military equipment (weapons and vehicles).

However, it is impossible to verify these figures independently in this gold-rich region, where rebels, illegal gold miners and the military fight over areas of influence, and the authorities did not respond to requests from AFP.

In early June, a week of fighting pitted the army against the rebels, giving rise to contradictory reports: the former claimed to have killed 23 rebels, the latter 15 soldiers, in the Tibesti massif where the two sides regularly clash.

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