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Nasty Neighbors: Resolving the Chad-Sudan Proxy War

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Publication Date: April 2008

Publisher(s): Center for American Progress

Author(s): Colin Thomas-Jensen

Funder(s): Center for American Progress

Funder(s): Center for American Progress

Topic: Human rights (Human rights promotion and violations)

Type: Report

Coverage: Sudan


It’s bad enough that the international community has failed, five years in, to end the genocide in Darfur, and worse still that it reacted with no urgency when the Darfur crisis bled into neighboring Chad. With the root causes of conflict in each country still untended, this regional crisis is poised to deepen.

The agreement signed on March 13 in Dakar, Senegal, between Chadian President Idriss Déby and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir might have appeared a spot of good news for a part of the world that has been on a steady slide toward chaos. It wasn’t. Relations between Chad and Sudan are so volatile and international diplomacy so feeble that a non-aggression pact between the two countries is a warning sign for more conflict to come. These quarrelsome neighbors have signed four peace accords in the past two years, and in each instance fighting broke out shortly thereafter. This time, it took less than a week for the regimes to accuse one another of violating the Dakar Agreement, and just over two weeks for Darfur-based Chadian rebels backed by Khartoum to attack Chadian government forces in the strategic border town of Adé, where pitched gun battles left seven civilians dead and 47 wounded.