Chad’s President visits border with Libya and Niger amid clashes with rebels and airstrikes by Haftar’s forces
Chad’s President Mahmat Deby has visited the border area with Libya and Niger, where clashes have erupted between the Chadian army and rebel fighters from the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT).
The president has called for more vigilance and cooperation from the local forces to protect the border, the people and the properties from the rebel threat.
President Deby urges border security
President Deby arrived at Tibesti state, which borders Libya and Niger, on Sunday, August 27, to inspect the security situation and meet with the local authorities and forces. He said that Tibesti state needed more vigilance, as it was a strategic area for the stability and development of Chad.
He urged the forces in the region to play a more viable part in helping the security and defense forces to protect the border, the people and the properties from any external aggression. He also praised the courage and sacrifice of the Chadian soldiers who have been fighting against the FACT rebels.
The FACT rebels are a group of dissident Chadian soldiers who oppose President Deby’s rule. They are based in southern Libya, where they have been supported by some Libyan factions. They launched an offensive in April to try to overthrow President Deby’s father, Idriss Deby, who was killed in battle.
Clashes between Chadian army and FACT rebels
The clashes between the Chadian army and the FACT rebels resumed after a lull of several weeks. The rebels said they were attacked by the Chadian army on one of their strongholds in Libyan territory, near the border with Chad.
The rebels said they repelled the attack and inflicted heavy losses on the Chadian army. They also said they captured some Chadian soldiers and vehicles. They claimed that three of their fighters were killed and four others were wounded as a result of an airstrike on their base.
The Chadian army confirmed that it carried out an operation against the FACT rebels in Libyan territory, saying that it was a preemptive strike to prevent them from crossing into Chad. The army said that it destroyed several rebel vehicles and weapons, and killed or captured dozens of rebels.
Airstrikes by Haftar’s forces
The airstrikes on the FACT rebels were not only carried out by the Chadian army, but also by the forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, a Libyan warlord who controls most of eastern Libya. Haftar’s forces said they launched a military operation on August 20 to “expel foreign armed groups on border with Chad”.
Haftar’s forces’ spokesman Ahmed Al-Mismari said their aircraft carried out strikes on groups using Libyan territory to launch attacks on neighboring countries. He said that the operation was aimed at securing Libya’s sovereignty and borders, and restoring peace and stability in the region.
Al-Mismari justified the launching of this operation by saying that “the political and security tension that Libya’s neighboring countries are going through has contributed to the weakness of the ability of those countries to control their borders, which clearly helps the movement of terrorist cells and criminal groups.”
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