Nel silenzio più assoluto, una guerra al confine tra Ciad, Repubblica Centrafricana e Sudan va avanti oramai da diversi mesi. I nostri media si concentrano solamente su una "fetta" di questo conflitto, ossia la crisi in Darfur, ma perché nessuno riesce a vederne il contesto più ampio?
Ecco due articoli, il primo sul Centrafrica, il secondo sul Ciad, che descrivono gli aspetti più nascosti di quello che è il nuovo focolaio di instabilità in Africa.
Concern As Civilians Flee, Government Denies Rebel Capture of Third Town
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks NEWS
November 13, 2006 Posted to the web November 13, 2006 Bangui
Humanitarian workers have expressed concern over the situation in northern Central African Republic (CAR), where anti-government rebels have claimed to have seized a third town, with civilians fleeing their homes to avoid being trapped.
"The humanitarian situation is more fragile than ever," Toby Lanzer, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in the country, said on Monday. "Increasing violence is not what the people of this country need."
Although no official government report has so far been provided on the situation in the north, there are fears the humanitarian situation could deteriorate as people seek refuge in other towns.
Independent sources in the region say the unrest in the north since late October has displaced at least 10,000 civilians. This number could not be confirmed by humanitarian organisations, however, because they do not have a presence in the rebel-controlled towns.
The national Red Cross said it had no details on the situation in the north. "We have no contact with people in the region," Alphonse Zarambaud, the Red Cross national programme coordinator, said. "We are still trying and we will put out details as soon as we get them."
In the latest incident, some residents fled their homes on Saturday in the town of Sam-Ouandja, which the rebel coalition, the Union des forces démocratiques pour le rassemblement (UFDR), claimed to have captured.
"Despite appeals by rebels asking civilians to stay calm, some have fled to neighbouring cities," Abakari Ousseine, a resident of Sam-Ouandja, told IRIN on Monday from the northern town.
Sam-Ouandja, a mining town of at least 10,000 inhabitants in the northern prefecture of Haute Kotto, is not easily accessible during the rainy season as the road to the town has not been maintained for years.
Ousseine said although the rebels had not mistreated civilians, "they have collected all Thuraya satellite phones from mining companies and individuals" to "secure their position and to prevent any communication with the regular army".
The UFDR leader, Michel Detodia, has said President Francois Bozize has ruled on an ethnic basis since seizing power from President Ange-Felix Patasse in March 2003. "Many people from other ethnic groups and different political parties are ostracised and banned from participating in the management of the country," he said.
On Monday, Bozize's spokesman, Cyriaque Gonda, said there was no rebel activity in Sam-Ouandja. "People should stop propagating false information to confuse the population," he said.
Gonda was reacting to a declaration by the rebel coalition that they had captured the town. "We are now in full control of the town," Abakar Saboune, the UFDR spokesman, said. Saboune said their next objective was to capture the mining town of Bria, which is the capital of Haute-Kotto.
Sam-Ouandja became the third town seized by the rebels since the conquest began two weeks ago. They seized Birao, capital of Vakaga Prefecture near the border with Sudan, on 30 October and took Ouadda-Djallé, 110 km south of Birao, on Friday.
On Monday, army officials seemed to contradict Gonda's statement that Sam-Ouandja was not under rebel control. A major, who requested anonymity as he is not an authorised army information officer, said, "These rebels have captured this town since yesterday morning and as far as I know no action has been taken to dislodge them."
He added there were no soldiers in Sam-Ouandja when the rebels arrived in the town.
Meanwhile, army troops were sent on Sunday to try to stop the rebel advance. Military officials said the troops deployed comprised elements of the national army and those of the Central African States Economic Community, known by its French acronym CEMAC.
Political observers say the army is not well equipped and trained to stop the rebels. A diplomat in the capital, Bangui, who declined to be named, said, "The CAR needs the help of a foreign force to get rid of the assailants."
The diplomat added that the army needed better training to rid it of its "disruptive behaviour".
Since the rebel crisis broke out in late October, Bozize has appealed to France for help. However, France has so far not responded. Bozize has accused neighbouring Sudan of supporting the rebel coalition, saying the attackers who seized Birao came from Sudan's troubled Darfur region.
On Saturday, a Sudanese delegation, led by Planning and Cooperation Minister El-Tijane Salleh Fedail, arrived in Bangui and held talks with Bozize on the rebel crisis.
In an interview on national radio, Fedail denied Sudan's involvement in the rebel activity in the north. Members of the delegation suggested the two countries should together ensure security along their 1,100-km border.
[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]
UN Refugee Agency Chief Urges More Security in Chad to Deal With Darfur Spill-Over
UN News Service (New York) NEWSNovember 9, 2006 Posted to the web November 10, 2006
The head of the United Nations refugee agency today called for improved security in eastern Chad, including an international presence along the border with Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region, after armed men on horseback are estimated to have killed more than 200 people in the past week in attacks on remote villages.
In a related development, a senior United Nations peacekeeping official today left for talks with the Sudanese Government in Khartoum aimed at halting the killings in Darfur, where scores of tens of thousands of people are estimated to have died as a result of the conflict between Government forces, allied militias and rebels seeking greater autonomy. More than 2 million others have been displaced.
"We are deeply alarmed at the brutality in eastern Chad, which is already struggling to cope with more than 218,000 Sudanese refugees from neighbouring Darfur," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres in Geneva.
"We have warned for months that the Darfur conflict threatens to destabilize the entire region and we support calls for an international presence in eastern Chad and stronger Chadian efforts to maintain security in the area," he said. In August, UN Security Council Resolution 1706 called for the deployment of a multi-dimensional UN presence to Chad and the neighbouring Central African Republic.
UNHCR teams in south-eastern Chad are still gathering information about the attacks, but initial reports indicate that as many as 220 people have been killed and dozens wounded. Most of the injured are still in or around their villages because they have no transportation to bring them to the closest health centres in Kerfi village and Goz Beida.
A UNHCR team travelled on Wednesday to the Kerfi area and residents told the team the attacks began last Saturday and had so far affected the villages of Bandicao, Badia, Neweya, Kerfi, Agourtoulou, Abougsoul and Djorlo. There are also reports that Tamadjour and Loubitegue village were attacked on Wednesday.
In the past year, an estimated 63,000 Chadians have been displaced by inter-ethnic violence in eastern Chad. UNHCR also cares for 15,000 refugees from Darfur in Djabal camp, near Goz Beida, as well as for 18,000 refugees in Goz Amir camp, near Koukou. In total, UNHCR and its partners assist 218,000 refugees from Darfur in 12 camps in eastern Chad.
While in Khartoum, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hédi Annabi will also discuss the UN's support package to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), which is trying to keep the peace in Darfur as Sudanese officials continue to reject a force of blue helmets.
From Khartoum, Mr. Annabi will travel to Addis Ababa for the 13 November consultations on Darfur and then proceed to Brussels, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.
In another development, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Jan Egeland, will travel to Khartoum and Darfur later this month as part of his final mission to Africa, Mr. Dujarric said.
Mr. Egeland is scheduled to start the 10-day regional visit tomorrow in Nairobi, Kenya. He is then expected to travel to Juba, in southern Sudan, at the request of the parties to the ongoing peace talks between the Government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), and to Kampala, Uganda.
While in Juba, Mr. Egeland has indicated his willingness to meet with the LRA senior leadership in the event of a significant humanitarian development such as a transfer of non-combatants, wounded and/or sick civilians into the care of specialized humanitarian agencies, the spokesman said.