Day 5: June 14, 2008 i-ACT 5: June 10 - 22, 2008

Chad rebels launch offensive, attack Goz-Beida

Irish troops on patrol near the eastern Chadian town of Goz-Beida in ChadAn alliance of Chadian rebel groups has launched a fresh offensive to overthrow the government of Chadian president Idriss Deby. The rebels requested mediation by France and the EU as a precursor to avert war, but their request was not accepted. Beginning from positions in Eastern Chad near the border with Sudan, they have advanced westwards towards the Chadian capital, N’djamena. On Saturday June 14, the rebels attacked and took control of the town of Goz-Beida. They withdrew later in the day, but promised further confrontation on Sunday. An EUFOR force deployed in Goz-Beida, comprising 500 Irish and 70 Dutch troops, has been protecting civilians and aid workers in the area. Camps surrounding Goz-Beida house 15,000 refugees and 36,000 internally displaced Chadians. The i-ACT team was about to travel to Goz-Beida from Abeche, when travel restrictions put in place meant the journey had to be cancelled. They are currently waiting at a safe location in Abeche as the situation unfolds.

To see the location of Goz-Beida, Abeche and N’djamena on a map, click here (scroll west to see N’djamena).

News reports about the situation:

Chad rebels say on offensive and seek French mediation (Thursday June 12)

EU troops increase patrols in Chad security alert (Friday June 13)

Chad rebels say they are advancing, threaten French forces (Friday June 13)

Chad rebels attack town, EU troops come under fire (Saturday June 14)

5 replies on “Chad rebels launch offensive, attack Goz-Beida”

Hi, Amanda here.

I heard on the news this morning that the rebels had taken over Goz Beida. The news on the Dutch and Irish troops helping in Goz Beida was an immediate relief. I hope the rebels don’t get near Abeche, there might not be enough be protection for the team and the refugees. Are there troops helping out there too, or just in Goz Beida? I also read that cell phone signals had been cut short. Is it possible you could lose satellite commuications too? I hope you guys will stay safe. Oh and happy father’s day to Gabriel!

Hi Amanda,

If I’m not mistaken, there is a French base and a EUFOR base in Abeche. At least the French base is near to the NGO compounds. I don’t know exact troop strength, but Abeche is a very major town in Eastern Chad.

Regarding satellite communication, the satellites are operated by foreign organizations not under the control of the conflicting parties, so there is much less chance of being able to “turn off” the network. The satellite network and equipment we use is very robust, so I think we can count on it to stay working.


Hi Amanda,
EUFOR and MINURCAT have headquarters bases in Abeche, where we are. UNHCR is keenly aware that we are here and they would not move without us. During the coup attempt last February, everyone in the East was relatively safe, if the rebels head for capital, it will be a very similar situation. Cell signals are down for the moment – but they really go in and out. We have two satellite phones and two bgans. Unless they were able to shoot a satellite down from space – we should always be in touch – no worries!
Peace, KTJ

Hey Amanda!
Thank you for the father’s day note. I love being a father, and I know that I would not be as deeply involved in helping children half-way across the world from where I live, if it wasn’t for my own children. Say hi to your mom and all the Goldner family. You guys are great!

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