Congo Watch: Chad army routs CPJP rebels in CAR border garrison town Birao - European Union pledges 50 billion euros to Africa's development

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Chad army routs CPJP rebels in CAR border garrison town Birao - European Union pledges 50 billion euros to Africa's development

CHAD'S military repelled rebels from a key border town in northern Central African Republic this week, days after the rebel fighters seized it, officials in both countries said today, Wednesday 01 December.

The African Union said the flare-up in fighting around the town of Birao in recent days had killed several civilians and threatened to complicate preparations for much-delayed elections in CAR, now due in January.

"We affirm that the Chadian army has exercised its right of pursuit by destroying the remaining mercenaries... in the town of Birao," Chad's Army Chief of Staff, General Djionadji, told a news conference late on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the CPJP rebel group said Chadian helicopters and tanks crossed the border from Chad to bombard the town and that rebel fighters retreated on Tuesday.

"We simply evacuated the town because the civilian population, including women and children, were in the process of being killed," CPJP spokesman and commander Issene Abdoulaye told Reuters by telephone.

Full story below.

Chad army routs rebels in Central African Republic
Source: (AP) / Press Trust of India - www.ptinews.com
Date: Wednesday, 01 December 2010 by Staff Writer 17:40 HRS IST
N'Djamena (Chad), Dec 1 (AP) - Chad's army says it has entered the northwest part of neighbouring Central African Republic and pushed out a group of rebels that had attempted to take a town there.

The army chief said late yesterday that soldiers crossed the border to the town of Birao which was occupied by rebels from the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace movement. The army says no children or women were killed in the short operation, but did not give details on combatant deaths.

The rebels had entered the town last week.

Chad and the Central African Republic are both impoverished central African nations grappling with the spillover from violence in Sudan's Darfur province.
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Chad army repels rebels in CAR border town
Source: Reuters Africa - af.reuters.com
Date: Wednesday, 01 December 2010 3:52pm GMT
N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Chad's military repelled rebels from a key border town in northern Central African Republic this week, days after the rebel fighters seized it, officials in both countries said on Wednesday.

The African Union said the flare-up in fighting around the town of Birao in recent days had killed several civilians and threatened to complicate preparations for much-delayed elections in CAR, now due in January.

"We affirm that the Chadian army has exercised its right of pursuit by destroying the remaining mercenaries... in the town of Birao," Chad's Army Chief of Staff, General Djionadji, told a news conference late on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the CPJP rebel group said Chadian helicopters and tanks crossed the border from Chad to bombard the town and that rebel fighters retreated on Tuesday.

"We simply evacuated the town because the civilian population, including women and children, were in the process of being killed," CPJP spokesman and commander Issene Abdoulaye told Reuters by telephone.

Djionadji denied women and children were killed in the raid. No details of casualties were available.

The CPJP rebels, who unlike other rebel groups in CAR have not signed peace accords with President Francois Bozize, seized Birao last week and said they were targeting the capital Bangui far to the south.

A Chad-based U.N. peacekeeping force had handed control of Birao over to state authorities on November 15 as its mission to protect civilians in the two countries comes to an end.

AU President Jean Ping condemned the fighting and called on politicians to work to ensure presidential and legislative elections due in January are not derailed.

Rebel clashes and problems over funding in the former French colony have delayed elections three times already, leaving Bozize in power beyond his initial mandate which ended in June.

Central African Republic is rich in minerals but has been caught up in the conflicts of neighbouring Chad, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Further Reading

Chad army routs rebels in Central African Republic
Washington Post - Wed, 01 Dec 2010

Central African Republic: Security remains fragile ahead of UN troop withdrawal and presidential election
Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre; Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted at ReliefWeb

"Bemba's soldiers raped and killed in the Central African Republic"
Radio Netherlands - ‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010

Bokassa rehabilitated by Central African Republic
BBC News - Wed, 01 Dec 2010

UN - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
www.un.org - Tues, 30 Nov 2010 / Reprinted at ISRIA. Excerpt:
Question: And also, in Central African Republic, I want… it seems that maybe the Government has taken back control of… but there is this garrison town of Birao that MINURCAT [United Nations Mission in Chad and the Central African Republic] used to somehow have a presence in, that they handed back to the Government on 15 November, it was reported to be overrun by rebels. What’s going to be… One, is there any kind of update, whether from OCHA or otherwise, on what’s the status of that town? And what’s going to be the UN’s ongoing role, if any, in that part of CAR which seems to be -- the civilians are being displaced and rebels are taking and untaking towns?

Acting Deputy Spokesperson: Well, on that, the only thing I’d have to share with you is to reiterate the points made by the Secretary-General in his recent statement, in which he condemned the recent attack on the town of Birao by rebels of the “Convention des patriotes pour la justice et la paix” (CPJP). And he calls on all concerned to exercise maximum restraint to ensure the safety of civilians, as efforts are being made by the national authorities to restore normalcy, and ensure peace and reconciliation among all the parties concerned.
Africa: European Union Pledges 50 Billion Euros to Africa's Development
Liberia Government (Monrovia) - Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted at AllAfrica.com

Africa/EU Reinforce Partnership‎
Cameroon Tribune by Richard Kwang Kometa
Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted at AllAfrica.com

Tripoli Declaration: economic ties revived‎
Radio Netherlands by Ruben Koops - Wed, 01 Dec 2010

Tripoli Declaration / 3rd Africa EU Summit
European Council - Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted by APO. Excerpt:
On Sudan, we emphasise the urgency and importance of ensuring that all elements of the CPA, including those concerning Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, are implemented in a timely, peaceful and credible manner, in particular the referendum on South Sudan whose results should be accepted by all.

Furthermore, we encourage all parties to progress with the post referendum issues. In this context, we welcome the leadership of the AU in close cooperation with the UN as well as the support provided by the AUHIP led by President Mbeki, and by IGAD. We welcome in particular the progress made and agreements reached on the framework regarding outstanding CPA issues. Our cooperation will continue to build on our common values and goals in pursuit of good governance, democracy and the rule of law. We firmly condemn all unconstitutional changes of governments which, alongside bad governance, are one of the main causes of instability.
Saudi Arabia - Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Sends Cable of Congratulations to President of Central African Republic
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted at ISRIA

Sudan boycotts Africa-EU summit
Sapa-AFP - ‎‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted at Mmegi

International war crimes court urges Central African Republic to arrest Sudan's al-Bashir
AP - Wed, 01 Dec 2010, 8:09 am ET /Reprinted at www.canadaeast.com

ICC asks Central African Republic to arrest Bashir on visit
DPA - ‎‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010 8:22 am ET /Reprinted at EARTHtimes.org

Central African Republic must arrest Omar al-Bashir during visit
Amnesty International - Wed Dec 1, 7:48 am ET

Sudan's Bashir cancels CAR trip amid ICC pressure - Summary
DPA - ‎‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted at EARTHtimes.org

African Union backs Sudan's Bashir
Mail & Guardian - ‎‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010

Key political risks to watch in Congo-FACTBOX
Reuters by Katrina Manson- ‎‎Wed, 01 Dec 2010 /Reprinted by Forexyard

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