Saturday, February 02, 2008

Now I know why my friends in Chad haven't answered my e-mail. They have probably been evacuated to the French-run high school that is (thankfully) near their home.
I just figured this out as I checked today's news before packing my bag for the Gourcy excursion. After complaining recently that it's hard to get news about Chad, I was today confronted with two big headlines when I opened up my iGoogle news page.
The BBC said "Chad Rebels Fight Inside Capital".

USA Today said:

Chad rebels enter capital
Updated 1h 6m ago |
| |






NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Hundreds of rebels penetrated the capital of Chad on Saturday, clashing with government troops and moving on the presidential palace after a three-day advance through the central African nation, officials and witnesses said.
Col. Thierry Burkhard, a French military spokesman, said groups of rebels gathered outside the capital, N'Djamena, overnight before 1,000-1,500 fighters entered early Saturday and spread through the city.

A leader of Chad's main opposition alliance, which is unarmed and not associated with the rebels, said shooting erupted after rebels entered the city around 8 a.m. but appeared to die down about two hours later. Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh said about 12:45 p.m. that there were no soldiers in his neighborhood and state radio had gone off the air.

"At the moment we are not hearing any firing ... The rebels are in the city. Civilians are in the streets. They are watching what is happening," said Saleh.

The French and American governments had told their citizens to assemble in secure locations as witnesses reported looting, gunfire and explosions near government buildings
France's embassy in Chad sent messages over Radio France Internationale to tell citizens to head to the Lycee Francais high school and two other locations in N'Djamena a French diplomatic official said on condition of anonymity because government policy barred him from providing his name
The U.S. Embassy said in a bulletin on its website that any American citizens seeking evacuation should immediately move to the embassy. State Department spokesman Karl Duckworth said the embassy had authorized the departure of non-essential personnel and family members.

Read the rest of the story here

2 comments:

david santos said...

Hello, Burkina Mom.
Thanks for your posting and have a good weekend

MLW said...

Beth rocks the Sahel -- "Thank you Gourcy, good night!"

Can't wait to hear how it went. You downplay it, but what fun!

FYI, the Chad news is getting some play here, though of course I heard it first on Bethinburkina. Very long story this morning on NPR about it, and a story yesterday. It still ties it to the Sudan, and one story took the view that people are still made at the French about the Zoes ark fiasco (I would think all French people would be mad at those nutcases). This can't help stabilize the situation in C.A.R.

Anyway, give us the report from Gourcy--the afterparties, the groupies, the whole works.