Reports from N'djamena

Out of Africa (almost)

11 replies on “Out of Africa (almost)”

Be careful about being too grateful for the French military. They saved you from the fighting in the last few days, but now are involved in defeating the rebel army, which was attempting to overthrow the dictator Deby. This is the second time in two years that the French have kept Deby in power. It is a part of the mosaic of oppression and oily politics that make solving the Darfur crisis so very difficult. The legacy of colonialism is not dead in Africa.


Why always this bashing toward french ??

Tell me if I’m wrong, but it’s seems to me that the french army has not use force against the rebels.

And if in the future they will, it will under the acceptation of the UN council.

So please stop this non sense french-bashing and think a little bit more than just a vague colionalism legacy (wich is not so real, chad is independant since 1960).

Thanks chuck for such a naive comment!
I just want to tell you that Exxon a US based company is exploiting Chad’s oil. Anyway, even though deby may be a dictator, the rebels are backed by Khartoum so I wonder what kind of state they would instore if they were to gain power. Maybe the kind you like so much, such as Iran!
Try to measure the consequences of your intervention in Irak first befrore looking at others’ doorsteps. Your country is torturing people (guantanamo, abu graib, and in so many other places) Your foreign policy has been a mess for quite some while…
For once we are trying to do things the right way : waiting for the U.N. authorization e.g. creating a non fighting zone in Darfour with the EU. I can not remember if you had the same courtesy when you invade Irak. You have many things to change in your country and spare us your naive talks about oppression(I’mconvinced many Irakis feel oppressed too).


We’ve witnessed days of sickening violence and brute force that have cost many their lives and countless others any chance of peace in the foreseeable future.

Clenched fists and pointed fingers aren’t going to help – now or in the future.

So STOP IT – both of you.

Retreat, reflect and repair – and come back without the accusations but rather filled with generosity of spirit and questions … you can better understand each other.

Sorry if I offended anyone. I was just trying to ask people to be careful about jumping to conclusions about “good guys” and “bad guys.” It is a lot murkier than that. Please read this article from today’s New York Times. Mr. Deby is not a great humanitarian. The French bases have helped keep him in power. He earns a lot of money from oil revenue while his country is poor.

I am not singling out the French, particularly, believe me. It is just that the Americans don’t have any military bases in Chad. We could talk about the harm our government does elsewhere, if you would like.

The bottom line is that it will be difficult to be useful to the people of Darfur and Chad if we don’t understand what is going on there. I am not claiming to be omniscient — I am just starting to look into this myself, so I could very well have some of this wrong. Please correct me when I am. Thank you!!

Chuck – this is going to make me sound like a political pragmatist (yuk!) but anyone who has been following the politics of Chad/Darfur in the long term probably startes to become a bit of a pragmatist.

Deby is a crook – no doubt about it.

AND the GoS in Khartoum are genocidal opportunists. (and quite likely the backers – at least in part – of this rebel-led Coup attempt in N’D)

Sometimes the political reality is that international powers must choose the “lesser of 2 EVILS” …… and that may prove to be the unenviable case this time.

Time will tell I guess.

Apologies accepted Chuck! Let me apologize too, I kind of overreacted.
I’ve been reading a lot about this crisis and I’m not omniscient too but what comes out is that Deby is in many ways a dictator and the “rebels” are not just freedom fighters.
The thing is wether we back Deby, do nothing or even help the rebels we will be criticized because as you’ve said there aren’t “good guys” and “bad guys”.
What needs to be done in the absolute is make deby step down according to a cease fire then organize democratic elections. But here comes Gayle realism : just guess who would be the candidates : Deby and some rebels’ chiefs. (guess what at least 2 of them are part of Deby’s family!!!). We may have our share of responsability into this one, with Chad being a former french colony. Look else where in Africa even Liberia or kenya and so many…
I agree with Gayle about time. To instore a democracy, mentalities need to be ready. I mean when people focus about what they’re going to eat if they’re going to be killed, they can’t think of democracy. They will ask for security and prosperity first. I believe it is the key issue in Chad.
Once again please accept my sincerest apologies and forgive my English.
Yours truly.

Thank you both, Gayle (Australia) and French, for your sincere replies. I will keep my eyes and ears open. French – your Anglais is much better than my Francais, so it is I who must be forgiven. For a just and healthy world.

Well there you go!!!! ….. unclenched fists, open minds and the courage to engage with each other, hear each other and try to build a stronger bridge through respect and understanding……..even when it’s a bit uncomfortable at first.

Good will is the most powerful thing there is. One tiny extention of goodwill – extended, acknowledged, appreciated and reciprocated can heal even the deepest, oldest wounds.

And that takes courage and generosity of spirit.

If the world behaved the way you guys have in the past 36 hours, there would be no war, no broken-hearts, no broken bodies, no misunderstandings, no pain and suffering.

You guys are two of my new heroes.

with nothing but the very best wishes, thoughts and imaginings – and lots of love,

Gayle xoxox

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