Yesterday I finally received a Christmas card from some friends living in N'Djamena. (Chad isn't all that far away from Burkina, but it took about a month to get here!) And yesterday's e-mails included one from a pal living in Canada- someone who lived in Chad with her family before moving to Burkina and then finally back to Alberta. So, Chad was definitely on my mind this morning when JP came into my office and told me that he had just heard on RFI (Radio France Info) that things in D'jamena are quite bad. Schools are shut and the city is locked down. He heard that UFDD rebels are again in the capital ( just like last April when the government forces had to fight them off)
Most people know at least a bit about the situation in Sudan, but many(in the US, anyway) don't realise that there are serious problems in their neighbor to the west. Chad's unpopular dictator/president is under pressure from rebel groups- groups that the government claims are created by and are tools of Sudan. Right. It's impossible that his own people could just be unhappy with his tyrannical, single-party rule.
A joint statement released Tuesday by some human rights associations and the largest trade-union group in the country recently denounced « the return to dictatorship in Chad. » The manager of FM Liberté radio was arrested recently for refusing to let the police to monitor all news read on the radio station and for " allowing the leader of the Liberal Party of Chad to denounce the anti-Sudanese demonstrations in N’djamena. The ruling party organised the demonstrations, accusing the Sudanese authorities of supporting the rebels hostile to President Idriss Deby Itno." You can read about it here.
Anyway, all this is going on and not a word about it could I find on my iGoogle headlines this morning. I have it set to show me: Reuters, CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Fox, New York Times, NPR, USA Today....Nothing obscure or specialised. I use it to give me an idea of what the "rest of the world" is hearing about. And nobody seems to be getting much info about Chad. At least Kenya's plight is getting good media coverage.
I am just hoping that Anne and her family are safe. I have sent her an e-mail, but I have no idea if she'll be able to access it.
Blogger is threatening a "scheduled outage". Don't know when I'll be back.