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Chadian Govt Appeals For Calm Over Arrival Of Rebel Forces In N’Djamena

As Libyan rebels reportedly storm the Chadian capital of N’Djamena, the government is appealing for calm.

Cherif Mahamat Zene, Chadian Minister of Communication, Monday morning, called on Chadians to be calm and to go about their daily activities, following rumour that rebels have started arriving in N’Djamena, the country’s capital.

“The security detail in certain areas of the capital seems to have been wrongly interpreted. I want to reassure you that there is no particular threat to be afraid of,” the minister declared.

There was general panic and uncontrolled movement of populations in various directions in N’Djamena Monday morning following alarming reports of the arrival of rebel forces in the capital.

The military has reinforced its security detail in the capital and blocked the road leading to the presidential palace, while tanks and heavy military hardware can be seen on certain streets in the city.

This, according to sources in the capital, confirms the rumoured arrival of the rebels.

In several quarters of the capital, residents suddenly started running in all directions Monday morning. In Champs de Fil quarter in the 5th subdivision, mechanics refused to open their workshops.

“On February 2, 2008 clashes started very early in the morning in the capital so we prefer to wait a little before opening our workshops,”said a mechanic.

Parents were seen hurrying to take their children back home while workers have been trooping back to their houses in case of clashes between the national army and the rebels in the capital.

“There is nothing. Absolutely nothing that can justify the panic that has taken hold of the population because of the ill-intentioned propaganda disseminated on social media,” the Minister assured.

“I therefore call on the population to be calm and serene.”

According to the French Embassy in Chad, “the measures put in place this morning in N’Djamena are measures of precaution with a dissuasive effect without any particular threat posed on the capital.”

Since April 11, rebels from Libya has been pushing towards the Chadian capital and Sunday, Azem Bermandoa Agouna, the national army spokesperson, announced that “more than 300 rebels have been neutralised and 150 others taken prisoner including three senior commanders,” on Saturday April 17, 2021 in the north of Kanem province.

“On the friendly side (meaning the national army) we deplore the death of five martyrs and 36 wounded,” the army spokesperson revealed, adding that 26 vehicles with 16 equipped with heavy weapons were seized from the rebels.

On the other hand, the rebel forces of the Front pour l’alternance et la concorde au Tchad (FACT) affirm having liberated Kamen on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Abakar Abdelkerim Daoud, the Chadian Army Chief of Staff, General on Sunday declared during a press conference that those clamouring for change in the leadership of the country must create a political party to contest for election, adding that armed insurrection is futile.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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