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28.01.2009 Feature Article

The Unification of an African Opposition Movement

The Unification of an African Opposition Movement
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It is now widely held that with the ascendency of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States that Africa will be a Foreign Policy Focal Point.

It should be duly noted that several papers have been released by various Groups and agencies highlighting concerns that this new Administration should address.

In General one of the crisis situations that has received the most ink about a increased US role is Darfur. This is a situation that will once again return to the International Limelight with the expected indictment of President Al-Bashir of Sudan for War Crimes committed in Darfur. The Situation in Darfur has spread across the border into neighboring Chad and this is the situation that this update will address.

The Situation in Eastern Chad is a direct result of the Tragedy that has been unfolding for decades in Darfur. Currently large numbers of refugees have sought safety across the border. Some of the Forces that have currently taken up arms against Khartoum have used the Refugees to replenish their ranks and have received Support from the Current Government in Chad. In reply the Sudanese Government has in the past supported various resistance movements against the current Government.

The Month of January 2009 has been an interesting month for the Insurgencies in Chad. Several Insurgent Groups have announced that they had a common struggle against the current regime and have decided to unite under an Umbrella Group. Most of the Groups have their current base of operations in the Eastern Part of the Country. Last year a drive by Rebel Forces made it as far as the Presidential Palace in N'djamena before they were driven back by Chadian Government Forces. It has been alleged that Sudanese Intelligence has been a main backer of the Chadian Armed Opposition.

In this background the UN Mission in Chad and the Central African Republic announced that the current Mission that is in place will be augmented by 5,500 troops and be extended until March 2010. It was also announced that the current forces which are comprised mainly of EU Forces will be replaced by Peacekeepers from the UN itself.

If a Peace Deal to be implemented in Chad there are several factors that need to be addressed. Currently the Country ranks as one of the most corrupt countries in the World. Any attempt at free and fair elections will be difficult with the current regime controlling natural resources. Other factors that need to be addressed include the recruitment of Child Soldiers and the Proper development of the Country.

The US may need to readdress its Military Relationship with the country. An Investigation by the GAO into the cost effectiveness of the spending of Counter Terrorism Spending is needed. Too Often the Military Officers of today become the Insurgency Leaders of Tomorrow. There are several ex-ministers of Defense that are Insurgency Leaders right now. There was concern that the Chadian Government was using Oil Money for Military Hardware as well.

The Stability of this region is Paramount. The Situations in Darfur and Chad are linked with the Situations in the CAR and the Congo. Various Foreign Powers have exploited the region for various reasons including Natural Resources. The attempt at a Unified opposition has its drawbacks as well for Chad. The big point is how long will the forces be unified. That is a question that we all should hope never has to be asked.

Scott A Morgan
Scott A Morgan, © 2009

The author has 88 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: ScottAMorgan

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