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Notes and Pictures from Travels to Visit Refugee Friends

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About fifteen minutes before it’s time to start our drive from Kou Kou to Goz Beida, by pure luck I happen to see a tweet in French:

#Tchad – Situation militaire confuse à Goz-béida : vers la reprise des combats au pays – Selon nos correspondants,…… — Ndjamena-matin (@Ndoune) January 17, 2013

Part of what it said, according to google-translate, was:

According to our respondents, thirty tanks and several pickup belonging to Deby’s troops arrived in the area of Goz Beida in eastern Chad. The situation remains unclear in this locality are rumors of renewed fighting between the army and the forces of national liberation Chad. The resumption of fighting is almost imminent in Chad.

A little worrying. It’s been a while since there’s been major fighting in Chad. It used to be a regular occurrence. For the first three years since I started coming out in 2005, it was part of the Chad experience, knowing that Chadian rebels could cross the border at any time and start taking villages up and down the east of the country — and even go for N’Djamena. We were stuck in some tight situations!

It has calmed down drastically since 2009, so it was a surprise to read the little blog post about troop movements and “imminent” fighting in Chad. I talked with some from our group and then with UNHCR staff. There was no mention of fighting in Chad in any major or even minor news source, and UNHCR believed it was routine troop movement, so on we went to Goz Beida.