The Chad-Sudan Proxy War and the 'Darfurization' of Chad: Myths and Reality (HSBA Working Paper 12)

Jérôme Tubiana
Working Paper

The contention that the Darfurian conflict is being ‘exported’ to eastern Chad via janjawid militia has received widespread coverage. However, this is a dangerous oversimplification of the ethnic and political dynamics of the region, and most especially neglects the importance of the political crisis in Chad. Khartoum and N’Djamena have been engaged in an on-again, off-again proxy conflict using one another’s rebel movements since the Darfur conflict began in 2003, most intensively since 2005. Khartoum has attempted on multiple occasions to unify the Chadian rebel groups to destabilize or even overthrow the Déby regime. While Déby has survived two attacks on the capital, he has managed to hold on to power through repression and incentives to those who rally to him. The Chad-Sudan Proxy War and the 'Darfurization' of Chad: Myths and Reality provides the contextual and historical background for understanding the current Chad–Sudan conflict, its complex ethnic components, and the history of the Chadian rebel factions. The paper explains why the current international peacekeeping effort is unlikely to be successful without an accompanying diplomatic push to bring the Chadian opposition— both legal and armed—and the Déby regime to the negotiating table.

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Keywords: HSBA