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)