Tension rises on the Chad-Central African Republic border

Incidents at the Chad-Central African Republic border could turn into a diplomatic crisis. Chad’s Minister of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on the night of Sunday, May 30, to Monday, May 31, 2021, accusing Central African armed forces of a “premeditated and planned” attack on a Chadian army outpost.
Ndjamena speaks of one soldier killed and five others kidnapped who were then, in the words of the communiqué, coldly executed in Central African territory. In Bangui, the Central African presidency has just reacted, wanting to calm things down and speaking of an “unfortunate incident”.
It all started with clashes on Sunday morning between the Faca and their Russian “allies” and the 3R rebels near the border between the two countries. The Central African rebels then retreated into Chadian territory. The Central African armed forces and Russian paramilitaries then set off in pursuit.
Chadian soldiers from the Sourou outpost interposed themselves, according to Chadian security sources. The Faca and their Russian allies, who were more numerous and better armed, gained the upper hand, and one Chadian soldier was killed and five others were taken prisoner, according to an official report. A Central African MP spoke of one Russian paramilitary killed and another wounded in their camp. These events are a first, because until now it was the Central African Republic that accused its powerful neighbor of incursions into its territory.
The Chadian reaction was not long in coming. The head of Chadian diplomacy, Chérif Mahamat Zene, accused the Central African Army of having coldly executed the five prisoners. He speaks of “a war crime of extreme gravity” and a “premeditated and planned murderous attack” (…) which “cannot go unpunished”.
The Central African side is now trying to calm things down. Presidential spokesman Albert Yaloké Mokpemé had earlier lamented the “unfortunate incident,” and the government spokesman has now reacted in turn. Ange-Maxime Kazagui spoke of exchanges of fire at the border of the two countries, which “unfortunately caused deaths on the Central African and Chadian sides. He assures us that his country remains willing to collaborate “with Chad to secure the common borders. “The Central African government is available to work with the Chadian side to preserve the peace and security cherished by our two governments. To this end, the Chadian government has been informed of the proposal to set up a joint fact-finding mission.
But the Chadian government refuses for the moment “any direct contact” with a country described as an “aggressor. The Chadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cherif Mahamat Zene, votes for an international commission of inquiry. “We cannot be the judge and jury. If it is a question of setting up an independent international commission of inquiry, we are in favor. Because this is indeed a premeditated attack carried out on Chadian soil. ”
It was finally a communiqué from the head of CAR’s diplomacy that clarified the Central African version, in total contradiction with that of the Chadian government. Sylvie Baïpo Temon assures us that the clash with the CFC rebels took place in the Central African locality of Mboum, 400 meters from the common border. It was the “cacophony” orchestrated by these Central African rebels who fled to Chad that “generated an unfortunate misunderstanding” that resulted in victims on both sides, she explained, without referring to the five soldiers who were abducted and executed, according to Ndjamena.
Chad has already sent numerous reinforcements to its border with the Central African Republic. “The international community should quickly launch a mission of good offices,” reacted an African diplomat, while the Chadian government spokesman warned in a threatening tone, “the Central African Republic will give an account of the violation of our borders and of our soldiers that it has killed.
On Monday evening, Chad received the support of France, which confirmed its version by condemning “the attack on the Chadian outpost of Sourou, (…) on Sunday, which caused several victims,” according to the official website of the Quai d’Orsay.

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Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network