Chadian rebel leader denounces arms supply to Déby by Paris

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A Chadian opposition leader has strongly denounced France for allegedly supplying missiles to the government of President Idriss Déby, warning Paris that this risked provoking a war between Chad and Sudan.

Colonel Adoum Yacoub, chairman of the Popular Front for National Renaissance (FPRN), a politico-military movement opposed to the regime in N’Djamena, said this in an interview with PANA in Paris.

“By supplying Milan missiles to Idriss Déby, France is encouraging it to attack the Sudanese army. The Milan missiles are anti-tank weapons and the Chadian rebels do not possess tanks,” he said.

“The acquisition of this kind of arms rather incites the Chadian army to attack Sudan, which possesses tanks,” Adoum Yacoub, former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and chief of staff of the armies whose forces are fighting the government in the south-east.

According to reliable sources, Paris would soon to deliver to the Chadian army about 100 light anti-tank infantry missiles, commonly referred to as Milan. These medium-range weapons, which can be used day and by night, can destroy any type of fighter tanks or armoured vehicles as well as fortifications.

The FPRN leader, who is also national coordinator of the Union of the Forces of Change (UFC), a grouping of three politico-military movements, said France, by militarily supporting the regime of President Déby against the different rebel groups, was delaying the return of stability to this region.

“We are prepared to find a solution to this conflict through negotiation.
But as of now all avenues for a political settlement of the crisis are blocked by (President) Déby’s intransigence,” Adoum Yacoub added.

On 6 December, FPRN forces attacked and flushed out government forces in strategic reserve and stationed around Tissi in south-eastern Chad.

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