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Chad: Islamic coup would pose major threat

Chad : Islamic coup would pose major threat

ICC Note

Saudi Arabia and Sudan played a major role in recent coup attempt in Chad by supporting the Islamist rebel group that entered the capital city of Chad .

By Elizabeth Kendal

Thursday, February 14, 2008 Chad (ANS) -- Chad is a religious fault-line nation in central Africa . The Muslims (55 percent) live mostly in the north while the non-Muslims -- Christians (28 percent) and followers of African traditional religions (16 percent) -- live in the south.

During the colonial era, the northerners resisted French rule and the southerners did not, so while the north was wracked with fighting, the south developed an economy and civil administration.

Historically the northerners had enslaved the southerners but after independence (1960) southerners dominated the government. By 1965 disaffected northern Muslims had started revolting and eventually civil war erupted. France sided with the government, but after Colonel Gaddafi came to power in Libya in 1969 he backed the Muslim insurgents. By 1979 Chad was effectively (but not legally) partitioned. Libya had annexed the uranium-rich Aouzou strip, and Muslim forces were controlling the capital, N'Djamena, and eventually the government, business and the military as well.

Chad 's current president, Idriss Deby, a former military colonel of the Sudan-based, Libyan-backed Patriotic Salvation Movement, seized power in 1990 in a military coup, ostensibly to advance democracy. He is of the eastern Zagawa tribe which straddles the Chad-Darfur border and is now facing genocide at the hands of Khartoum 's Arabist Islamist regime. While Chad is officially a democratic, secular state with religious liberty, Deby's regime is repressive, dictatorial, tribalist and corrupt. Human rights are frequently violated. In April 1993 Deby's Republican Guards perpetrated civilian massacres in the south which claimed the lives of multitudes of Christians, especially Christian leaders and pastors, not for religious reasons, but to quell dissent.

On Saturday 2 February 2008, rebels attacked the Chadian capital of N'Djamena. Contrary to the propaganda, this was not a domestic protest against dictatorship and corruption. The rebels were sponsored by Khartoum and Saudi Arabia to effect regime change in Chad and install a pro-Arab Islamist regime that would be loyal to Khartoum and thus resistant to 'occupation' by 'infidels'. The UN-sponsored humanitarian operation to deploy 3700 EU peacekeepers to Chad and the Central African Republic to protect Darfurian refugees has now been postponed.

World Defense Review columnist Walid Phares' 3 February column was entitled 'Chad's future Taliban enters capital while the West sleeps'. In it Phares reported that even while the mujahideen were launching their attack on N'Djamena their official spokesman was already in the Aljazeera studios in Qatar, clean-shaven and wearing a suit. Speaking in 'excellent Arabic' he described (i.e. spun) the coup as a domestic struggle against corruption before going on to thank Sudan's President General Omar al Bashir and the Saudi King for their support of 'the movement'.

The coup failed and the rebels were repelled. But this is not over. If this rebel force is ever successful in taking N'Djamena it will be a major coup for Sudan , Wahhabi Islam and Arabism, with Libya possibly benefiting also. It would be a crushing blow for liberty and security in Chad and the wider region and would doubtless herald an era of unprecedented persecution for the Chadian Church .

Please Pray Specifically For God To:

uphold the cause of Chad's oppressed, watch over the aliens (immigrants, in particular Darfurian refugees), sustain N'Djamena's fatherless and widows, 'frustrate the ways of the wicked' (the Khartoum, Arab and Wahhabi sponsors of terror) and be the 'help' of the Chadian Church. (Psalm 146)

'Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them -- the Lord who remains faithful forever.' (Psalm 146: 3,5,6 NIV)

Visit his Church in Chad in a special and powerful way, bringing wisdom, strength, peace and grace for the sanctification of the church and the glory of God. 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.' (Romans 8:28 NIV)

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