The funeral of the Chad’s President Idriss Déby Itno took place on April 23, after his death was announced on Tuesday, just one day after his reelection for a 6th term in office. The attack of the rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) had thrown the country into turmoil, casting a shadow of uncertainty not only over the future of Chad but the whole region.
Since it became independent from French colonial rule Chad had seen many rebellions. More or less successful groups emerged and disappeared, but the main players in this post-colonial game stayed the same. The main actor who cannot accept the change of the history course is Chad’s former colonial ruler – the French Republic. In addition to significant military presence (1,000 French soldiers are currently deployed in Chad), France seeks ways to take as much control over the mineral-rich francophone African states as possible.
When the FACT rebel group moved to Libya it opened a handful of opportunities for promotion, making itself visible and desirable to certain global powers. The United Arab Emirates joined France in the attempts to utilize the FACT in their shadow plots.
The proof of this international involvement of the global powers is the supply chain that provided weaponry and equipment for the rebels. According to the UN reports, the FACT were based at a Jufra military air base in central Libya. Jufra airbase is known as an unofficial transport hub, where France collects the gold, uranium and oil which was exploited in Chad, Niger and Mali. Another place associated with FACT in Libya is Sabha Airbase (also known as Tamanhent Airbase) lately renovated and upgraded by the French state structures.
The significant amount of arms and vehicles from the United Arab Emirates was delivered to these two Libyan bases in order to enforce the FACT which were participating as mercenaries in the Libyan conflict. However, the rebellions` leadership had claimed from the beginning that they were going to keep all the supplies to use it later on their quest to overthrow the Chadian government. The information considering the UAE weapons delivery to the FACT (planes carrying weapons, 400-450 cars with heavy military equipment etc.) were confirmed by the UN experts in various reports on the situation in Libya.
The UN also confirms that an airplane owned by the former Blackwater’s (US private military company) Erik Prince had been photographed at the Jufra air base. The American military contractors are supposedly training the Chadian mercenaries on commission from the UAE. Thus the three global powers are creating a strong well-equipped destabilizing force under the veil of Libyan conflict.
This force has already been released and Chad took the first blow. This country is already one of the main sources of the mercenaries in the region. General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno , the son of the killed President of Chad, is now leading the transitional military government. His authority among the local population and among the international community is nothing like his fathers: a weak political figure, he will need support from external powers. Without the strong will of Idriss Deby the Chad is doomed to plunge into chaos.
The destabilization of Chad will push its men to turn to the mercenary activities, opening more opportunities for France, the UAE and the USA to exploit vulnerable and fragile African countries. It is no surprise that Chad’s neighbors started to fortify the borders. The Central African Republic, for example, deployed strong units in the north of the Republic (near the border with Chad) who are on high alert to prevent rebels from illegal armed groups from crossing the Central African borders. The swift reaction of the Central African government is the result of the successful reformation of the national army. The other neighboring countries, like Sudan, Niger and Cameron, who had not taken protective measures are facing a great risk now.
The destabilization of the region paves way for the USA to deploy more so-called peacekeeping forces in Africa. Increasing American military presence on the continent threats civil institutes of the young African democracies. The mercenaries coming from Chad and conflicts, secretly fueled by the global powers, will be used as a tool to justify the increasing number of French and the US military personnel in the region, rich in natural resources. The chaos inflicted by the rebel groups will become a perfect smokescreen for the grey-market exploitation of the African extractable resources.