Habre’s soldiers attack troops near Lake Chad




Mark Huband in Abidjan

The Guardian, 3 February 1992

Military forces loyal to the deposed Chadian president, Hissene Habre, have attacked government troops near Lake Chad, national radio said at the weekend.

Up to 300 troops crossed into the country last week, and attacked Chadian army positions at the town of Tchoukou-Hadje. Supporters of Mr Habre, who was deposed by a Libyan-backed rebel invasion at the end of 1991, also attacked government forces in December. Last week’s incursion left several dead and wounded, the interior ministry said.

Both incursions have exposed the crisis which has prevailed since Mr Habre’s former army chief, Colonel Idriss Deby, invaded Chad from Sudan and toppled the regime after only three weeks of fighting in 1990.

Col Deby responded to December’s incursion by exaggerating its size, claiming the government had killed 400 rebels. He imprisoned opposition leaders who were only released, after intense pressure from France and the US.

Both countries supported his seizure of power on the understanding that he would introduce democracy after the fall of the Habre dictatorship.

But there is growing concern about the direction the Deby government has taken. Chad’s ties with Libya have become increasingly strong, with top Libyan officials making regular visits.


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