INTRODUCTION: Chad's internal military conflict entered a new phase on Friday (20 November) as anti-government troops reported a major military breakthrough in the country's eastern region.
SV ZOOM INTO CU Chad Foreign Affairs and Co-operation Minister Acyl Ahmat speaking.
SV Government troops listening to Minister speak.
SV PULL BACK TO GV Troops around anti-aircraft gun mounted on small truck.
GV Troops unloading cases of ammunition from truck.
SV PAN Ahmat talking to soldier as other troops mill around.
CU PULL BACK TO SV Troops cleaning their automatic rifles.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Chad's internal military conflict entered a new phase on Friday (20 November) as anti-government troops reported a major military breakthrough in the country's eastern region. Troops loyal to former Defence Minister, Hissene Habre, called the Armed Forces of the North, claim to have control of several towns including the strategic city of Abeche, near the border with Sudan.
SYNOPSIS: As Chad government troops were preparing to travel to the rebel-held areas, the Chad Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-Operation, Acyl Ahmat, outlined the progress of the government and rebel fighting. Clashes between the Chad Army and rebels intensified after the withdrawal of the Libyans, whose aid was enlisted by President Koukouni Oueddei to help crush the opposition forces of Hissene Habre. The Libyan withdrawal, at President Oueddei's request, preceded a planned summit meeting to form a peacekeeping force in Chad, to replace the Libyans. The meeting was postponed by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) chairman, President Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya. Nigeria, apparently irritated at the early arrival of Zaire troops in Chad, had refused to attend.
Chad government troops are mobilising despite a ceasefire declared by Hissene Habre until the arrival of the OAU-sponsored force. He said his followers would resist the OAU force if it tried to impose a solution to the country's internal conflict. Informed sources say it might be almost impossible to place members of the peacekeeping force along the rebel-held eastern border with Sudan.
Hissene Habre's representative in Europe has said the rebel troops will present no obstacle to the deployment of the six-nation peacekeeping force. But the rebels reportedly feel the promoters of the force have adopted an aggressive attitude towards them. It is not known when the meeting to finalise plans for the 6,000-strong peacekeeping force will be held. The Zairean troops 700 paratroopers installed in the Chad capital of N'djamena - are the vanguard of the force. It is their unilateral dispatch however which has irritated Nigeria's President Shehu Shagari. Informed sources said the Nigerians, who will provide 2,000 troops, wanted tor re-group the various units of the force, in northern Nigeria before they are sent into Chad territory.