In Chad, negotiations have been continuing on whether to split the country into a federation to end the long civil war.
In Chad, negotiations have been continuing on whether to split the country into a federation to end the long civil war. A ceasefire and truce was signed on Monday (19 February) in the capital of N'Djamena by the rebellious guerrilla forces of Prime Minister Hissen Habre and the troops of President Felix Malloum. At the end of the week (23 February), the ceasefire was till being observed.
SYNOPSIS: This film, taken in N'Djamena on February the twelfth, the day fighting began, is the first depicting the initial action to have come out of the country. Reports said Prime Minister Habre's thousand-strong force had attacked Cahd's national radio station and airport. Retaliating government helicopters dropped incendiary bombs on Monsieur Habre's residence.
Military sources said government soldiers then had day-long exchanges of mortar, rocket and machine-gun fire with the rebels, and pinned them down in two groups.
A police station was damaged in the fighting. Reports said the attack came after months of discord between President Malloum and Monsieur Habre, whom he appointed prime minister last August. Some months before, Monsieur Habre had stepped down as leader of the Moslem Frolinat (Chad National Liberation Front) movement. But the two men soon began bickering about interpretations of the charter which served as the basis for their reconciliation. They had not met since last November, and the attempted coup followed weeks of tension between the capital's African population and the large Moslem minority. Loyalist gendarmes repulsed the rebels' first attacks.
Some reports said several hundred men were killed in the first three days of fighting, when it appeared the rebels controlled most of N'Djamena. After a week, the French army commander in Chad, General Louis Forest, negotiated the ceasefire.