Chad: Government digging trench around N’Djamena to stop rebels

ALI SABIEH, Djibouti (April 4, 2009) Equipment Operator Constructionman Apprentice Graeme Hathaway, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 Detachment Horn of Africa, drives a backhoe during a project to repair facilities at the Ali Sabieh Primary School. NMCB-11 is deployed for the first time since being reestablished in 2007 and is working in the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa area of operations. (Official U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Erick S. Holmes/Released)

According to various sources, the Chadian Government has resumed construction of the 3 meter deep trench encircling the city.

The trench was first started in 2008 after the Battle of N’Djamena, and was intended to help ward off future rebel attacks on the city. The excavation of this trench has recently recommenced near the West entrance to the city. These measures have caused the population to fear possible new rebel attacks, which are not unprecedented considering the recent events in Libya and Northern Chad. The recent departure of several military columns only serves to heighten this fear, and some residents of the outlying districts have begun to evacuate the area. So far we have received no word on an impending attack by rebels but recent fighting in Libya could displace rebel forces and force them to invade Chad, something the Chadian government has been worried about.

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Peter Lee

Freelance Journalist and Editor currently working with Heartbeat Africa News covering news from The Heart of Africa. Contact Peter Lee in English or French at PeterLee@heartbeatafrica.news

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