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Vol 50 No 9

Published 1st May 2009


Who shoots first?

The regimes in N’djamena and Khartoum are preparing for another proxy war, this time with more guns and better technology

On the Chad-Sudan border, everyone is asking who will fire first. As the mandate of the European Union Force (EUFOR) in eastern Chad ran out last month, Sudan's rebel Justice and Equality Movement was resettling its fighters in its rear bases in Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno's home area of Am Jaress, north-east Chad. The plan appears to be a new offensive at a time when the National Congress (NC, aka National Islamic Front, NIF) regime is focussing on the International Criminal Court arrest warrant for President Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir. JEM's target might be Kordofan's capital El Obeid or, more practically, El Fasher. This would signal that JEM is now as powerful as the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army was when it attacked the North Darfur capital in 2003. Since its withdrawal from Muhajeriya in February (AC Vol 50 No 7), JEM's attempts to position itself as the main Darfur rebel group have had some success, attracting people from SLM/A factions. These include SLM/A-Unity's Suleiman Jamous - like top JEM leaders, a Zaghawa and once part of the NIF regime.

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