The state of Chad is the scene of many events within the scope of sub-Saharan countries, With its politically turbulent situation and geographical location located between unstable countries, And overcome by security fragility, Which allows it to be exploited to cause unrest in and around the northern regions.
The southern border between Chad and Libya has always been a concern for both countries, As a result of the instability of the situation in both, Each side feels that its country’s borders are being used for destabilization by the other. What is new is what the American newspapers talked about at the beginning of the middle of this year, that the US authorities informed the Chadian presidency that they have information about Wagner movements in southern Libya, aimed at destabilizing Chad.
The Wall Street Journal reported in January, The United States has come up with information that the Russian military group “Wagner” is cooperating with Chadian armed groups on Libyan soil to implement a plan to get rid of Chad’s interim president, Mahamat Idriss Deby, and seize power.
The newspaper quoted American, African and European officials, Washington has briefed the authorities in Chad on intelligence reports that Wagner is cooperating with Chadian militants to destabilize the transitional authority in the country. And perhaps to kill the Chadian president.
The news comes amid concern felt by officials in Chad, as a result of attempts to destabilize the state, In statements attributed to the Chadian President, President of the Transitional Period, “Mahamat Idriss Deby”, In a clear reference to what has been mentioned, He renewed his call for a policy that includes all Libyan parties to achieve a final peace in Libya, Noting that Chad has paid a heavy price due to the instability of Libya, He personally lost his father because of the instability of the situation in Libya.
It is known that the Chadian authorities have recently intensified their security and military movements in all regions of Chad, Especially after the Chadian authorities announced that they had thwarted a failed coup attempt at the beginning of this year. Whereas, the Government of Chad announced in a statement issued in January 2023, that she foiled a plan to “destabilize the country and undermine the constitutional order”, she said, And behind it is a group of 11 army officers whom it described as “conspirators”, Chad has been on alert and preparedness for any emergency ever since.
What’s happening on the Chadian border?
After more than two years of relative calm that prevailed on the Libyan-Chadian border, The President of the transitional period of the State of Chad, Lieutenant General “Mohamed Idriss Deby” announces in a televised interview that he and a number of senior officers in the army will lead large forces heading towards the north in the direction of the border areas with Libya, Include the area of Curry 35, with the aim of combing the area, All military units and mines are inspected.
In a new development of the government’s crisis with Chadian opposition factions, Where it witnessed the flare-up and deterioration of the situation in the Libyan-Chadian border region, After the opposition “FACT_Front for Accord for Change” announced, On Friday, August 18, 2023, that three of its members were killed, And that four others were injured varying degrees, Following an aerial bombardment of its rear base, launched by the Chadian army on one of its strongholds inside Libyan territory, This forced it, according to the statement issued by it, to cancel the ceasefire announced by it since April 2021, Justifying that the reason is that it was attacked by the army, The movement called on its supporters to return to taking up arms against the Chadian army, She stressed that her reaction will be swift and unrestricted, according to her statement.
The call to take up arms against the Chadian army comes, At a time when chaos threatens the countries of the Sahel and West Africa, Fears are growing of upcoming regional military action against neighboring Niger, The declaration issued by the Front foreshadows, With the possibility of the return of full-scale hostilities between the army-led government and the Chadian opposition factions led by the Front for Change and Accord (FFIX), Which led its attack in 2021 to contribute to the industry of the incident that killed President Idriss Déby near the battlefield, His son, Mohamed Idriss Deby-Kaka, took power.
And noted here, The fact front’s capture of the recent attack by the army on its forces quickly announced that it was abandoning its commitment to the ceasefire, Which many observers counted, that it is advanced marketing from the front, To try to obtain Russian support in light of the decline and decline of the French project in the region.
Return Movement CCMSR to the interface of the beneficiary?
noteworthy, The context of the attack by the Chadian armed forces comes after the attack of its personnel in the northern border areas with Libya by the “CCMSR – Military Command Council for the Republic” movement. against the Chadian army on August 10 in the gold-mining region of Kore Bogode in northern Chad.
The movement is one of the opposition factions that did not sign in the Doha dialogue, And she had a reservation about the final outputs of the meeting, Which did not live up to its demands _ according to its description, The movement is classified as one of the strongest and fiercest Chadian opposition factions present on Libyan territory, In terms of number and gear, However, recently, after the end of the war on Tripoli, its sources of funding have shrunk, which she obtained by participating in the military operation with the two parties to the Libyan conflict, The movement kept looking for other sources of funding The movement’s leaders were forced to sell some military vehicles and equipment to secure a source of income that would ensure their cohesion and continuity.
Based on it … There is a set of barracks that justify this last step of the movement, Some try to link the need and the circumstances that the movement suffered, The incident of the attack on the Chadian forces that were securing gold mines, Others argue that the movement is trying to attract international attention again with its maneuverability and movement, and that it is a strong and real match for the FACT movement in terms of level of impact and effectiveness. Others do not rule out a functional role for the movement that it was asked to perform, In favor of moving the Chadian army file, which is currently the main force of the ECOWAS Group, Which is preparing to face the Niger coup.
Is French warplanes: He got on the line of fire?
In the context of the event that reflects the deterioration of the situation on the Libyan-Chadian border, Sources in the Chadian presidency reported to Al Jazeera that the army bombed Chadian armed opposition positions inside Libyan territory, and managed to destroy stores of equipment and weapons belonging to it, With the approval of the Libyan government.
Meanwhile, sources at the Libyan Center for Security and Military Studies say that the drones that carried out the bombing were drones under the control of the Chadian army.
As well as other sources speak, That there is some role for military air aviation flying over the border areas suspected to be “French aviation”, Some sources state that the start of equipping the “Wave” air base, It was by French troops, As an alternative to losing its presence and presence in Niger.
In the same vein, Some media outlets circulated, Quoting from the website “Afrique Media TV”, News stating that “the French government intends to deploy military forces at the Libyan air base Alwig in southern Libya, In order to support the military intervention prepared by ECOWAS in the Republic of Niger, What the agency said did not depart from what other sources mention in the same context, Although the French presence has not yet been officially confirmed.
Notably, With mid-2022, a significant increase in French activity to re-present in the Libyan file emerged, which international powers have become more effective and competitive, Where the website “Libya Press” quoted an unnamed military source, He said that “a group of Francis soldiers arrived at the “Alwig” military base in southern Libya, for the purpose of viewing it, and rehabilitation, and put it into service again.”
Although Field Marshal Hifter’s forces did not confirm the arrival of French military experts, However, this news came immediately after the meeting between Haftar and the French envoy in Libya, Which left questions about the relationship of this visit to the planned French military presence in southern Libya. Now, with the development of the situation, there is talk that the French forces have actually begun to land at one of the bases in southern Libya, It has begun equipping it as a command post close to the Libyan-Chadian border triangle with Niger.
And at the moment of writing, The French Embassy in Libya in a statement on Twitter, She denies the false information – according to her – circulated by some media and social networks about France’s involvement in military operations in Libya, It is not surprising that the French denied its participation in the operations taking place in the far south of Libya due to the sensitivity of any demonstration of international intervention in Libyan affairs.
And noted here, That this denial did not touch on the fact of the French presence in the south of Libya, And preparing to exploit the base of “Wigg”, According to some sources, This is a signal that presence can be certain.
On the French role in Libya, we can refer to the report prepared by the Libyan Center for Security and Military Studies earlier this year entitled “France in the balance of profit and loss for its interests in Libya.” On the link https://lcsms.info/?p=14472 , In it, he discussed and reviewed France’s calculations for the requirements for its re-establishment in southern Libya.
Russian warning comes from senior military delegation
The development of the scene on the Libyan_Chadian_Nigerien border, increased the pace of international competition and scramble towards the region, While the stunning French retreat was of great interest to French and international decision-making circles, and centers for research and global strategic studies, The Russian bear was re-engineering, employing and arranging the values and variables that he made a miraculous effort in making, The use of Algerian airspace in any logistical effort that France could make against the putschists in Niger was not far from this engineering.
This coordination was reinforced by the visit of a Russian delegation that included Russian military officials, Among them is the Russian Deputy Defense Minister “Yunus Bek Yevkirov” to the city of Benghazi on Tuesday, August 23, The hypothesis of Russia’s sense of the danger of employing southern Libya in the equations of neighboring countries in a way that does not serve its influence and expansion, And what leaked reports talking about attempts to strengthen France to redeploy in the regions of southern Libya, And its quest to employ the “strategic Whig” base in the far south, To rearrange the production of its African presence, which has been fading in recent years.
Although the visit, as announced, came at the invitation of Field Marshal Hifter personally, With the aim of discussing cooperation in the fields of training and maintenance of weapons for its forces, It is obvious that the visit should be placed in the media within the framework of international cooperation and official relations.
But the Russian media talk about the visit, Dealing with the developments of the scene in southern Libya and neighboring countries, It gives an indication of what has been nominated from some close sources, The content of the visit is related to warning the General Command, which presents southern Libya as being within its areas of influence and control, to allow the French army to exploit the area and its air bases, to the detriment of Russia’s interests, And with its inter-relations, which Field Marshal “Haftar” is keen not to interrupt with the Russians.
And worth mentioning, Some sources _ Reuters news agency _, I reported that the delegation had held a closed meeting with Field Marshal Haftar in which several files related to Russian concerns about Libya’s southern borders were discussed. And that the variable of the death of the actual commander of the Wagner forces, “Prigozhin”, will not affect the survival of the troops in Libya, And that another personality will be appointed to lead the forces present in Libya, Because the Libyan issue, especially the southern region, has begun to be evident in the circle of Russian national security strategies.
Libyan positions and developments on the ground
The situation of southern Libya – both its western and eastern parts – is not different from it that it has become a difficult and abnormal file, As Chadian forces are approaching the southern border under the pretext of chasing the Chadian opposition, While Field Marshal Haftar’s forces are reorganizing their ranks and working to support their forces in the south under – huge media propaganda – which is to defend the south and prepare for all possibilities – as announced by its affiliated media.
Also, in light of the development of events, “Musa Al-Koni” was the vice president of the Presidential Council, eager to make an official visit to N’Djamena, At the beginning of August, To participate in the celebration of the 63rd anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Chad, The two parties exchanged reviews of the developments of the region and the international positions thereon. It included discussions on mobile joint files, including the file of securing the borders between the two countries, The security delegation that accompanied Al-Koni discussed various topics of interest to this file.
And also, It is possible to link what President Mohamed Deby has done by leading his forces towards the Libyan border, And the lack of a clear Libyan position towards this move and what is happening in the south, It reflects a sense of understanding by Libyan officials of what Mohamed Deby can do to clamp down on the Chadian opposition.
Notably, According to the Italian agency “Nova”, The Chadian opposition Front for Change and Concord (FACT), The Government of National Unity was accused of allowing the Chadian army to bomb its positions inside Libyan territory, Mehmet Jako, one of the leaders of the Front, said, “The ruling military council in Chad has received the green light from the Libyan Government of National Unity to target Chadian opposition positions located in southern Libya,” “This step represents a serious threat to peace in the region as a whole,” he said. It will not pass without a decisive reaction from the front”, according to the Italian agency.
It is worth noting here, Until what was said by Chadian President “Mahamat Idriss Deby”, It gives time to the opposition forces, especially the CCMSR movement, And the FACT front is only seven days in order to hand over their weapons and abandon the principle of combat, Or they will be fought and chased inside Libyan territory !! .
On the other hand, ambiguities persist about the stationing of Wagner forces in the southern region, Although some sources state that Wagner is moving along the Libyan and Chadian borders.
On the other hand, the recent field developments, related to the General Command of Field Marshal Haftar’s forces, It says it launched a security operation to evacuate more than 2,000 housing units – Chinese buildings – in the area (um al-Arnab), which was inhabited by a large number of Chadian opposition elements and their families, They have been deported to an unnamed destination, amid strong rejection and disapproval by representatives of the Tebu component of the region, And will work on permanent insurance, Until the companies working on this project return to hand over these units to the Libyan royal families according to the law of the Libyan state – as stated by the leaders of the operation.
Indeed, the commander of the operations room of the ground forces of the General Command, “Saddam Haftar”, accompanied by the commander of the Southern Operations Force, “Al-Mabrouk Sahban”, arrived at the Libyan-Chadian border, To oversee the expanded military operations to be launched by the forces units of Field Marshal Haftar, to clear the area of armed gangs and control security, and securing the borders, and anti-immigration, According to General Command spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari in a statement.
Field sources confirm, However, the strength of its equipment is approximately (400) military vehicles from the 128th Brigade, has actually arrived at the rabbit mother area in the last couple of days, Where it is dominated by – lack of discipline and adherence to the rules of engagement – where it embarked on evacuation and combing campaigns, Not without robberies and looting of property – according to sources from the Tebu – in the area, which is located in what is known as the Chinese company, They rely on the responses of instructions from leading bodies, the need to carry out inspection and vetting campaigns on weapons and armed vehicles, And she confiscates what comes her way, As spoils for the army.
Others express that, What the forces coming from the east are doing is an unprecedented event since the February revolution to correct the situation in the southern region and the border areas – as their leaders express in their directed media _, And that this greatly serves the stability of the region, And the talk circulating now, This force, headed by Saddam Haftar, will head with all its vehicles to the Libyan-Chadian border.
While sources in the western region talk about the movements of the forces of the 603rd battalion, of the Central Military Region led by “Mohammed Al-Hussan”, To participate in combat military operations on the southern Libyan border, The sources link him with Colonel “Al-Megrahi references”, commander of Major General Tariq bin Ziyad in the southern region, To command the Joint Military Room in the region.
Al-Mesmari, spokesman for the General Command, came out, to announce air strikes against foreign armed groups on the Libyan-Chadian border, It conducts permanent aerial reconnaissance through an air parachute over the areas of military operations.
In this framework, The UN mission through the UN envoy, Abdullah Batili, Declares its concern about the developments of the situation in the South, He began to feel concerned as a result of the events taking place in the region, This may affect the political scene in Libya.
Talking about some armed groups from Chad that have taken some border areas between Libya and Sudan as a working environment to increase their work and activities, And that the Chadian army has been pursuing those groups for days, Then talking about Wagner, Which confirmed in his statement the presence of Wagner on Libyan territory, However, it does not have reliable data about their number, equipment, etc.
All this is a sense of the reality of the mixing of cards and what could result from this international competition “Russian-French_American”, To dominate the region, Then he touched on that there are indirect effects on Libya, Because of the situation in Sudan as well, He says the border area between the two countries was open to a number of armed groups, mercenaries and criminal groups.
- The fact that the southern environment provides the Chadian opposition with fertile ground to organize its ranks and prepare itself to play hostile roles within Libyan territory on the one hand, And towards the State of Chad, which has been seeking a change in power in it, on the other hand.
And that the presence of Field Marshal “Haftar” and his control over the south did not prevent that opposition from continuing its hostile activity, There are even relations for Haftar with the Chadian opposition, He has used it in most of his military operations since the beginning of his operation, which he called “Dignity”, and since the announcement of the April 2014 coup.
- The level of the Russian presence in Libya has become a reality and a reality today, Which made the Russian government interested in following up Libya’s border affairs with neighboring countries, Which was not so a few years ago, Russia thus moves to the stage of action and direct influence, Having a presence deep in southern Libya was a strategic dream.
- The south of Libya and its borders with the neighboring countries It has become a field of international struggle and competition, Therefore, the game of strategic balance that may be required by the national interest and national security in dealing with international actors regarding the Libyan file, requires not to take sharp and extreme positions towards it, And it needs an accurate balance for every step that officials and decision makers in the Libyan state may take, And try to invest international competition for more national gains, Especially in the transitional situation that the Libyan state is going through.
- Monitoring and following up the reactions of the various Libyan armed forces and formations, Which stems from social, ethnic and regional backgrounds regarding what is happening in the State of Chad or neighboring border countries, An important and vital matter that is the responsibility of the official state organs, Especially the intelligence institutions and national security officials in Libya, To work to prevent some countries from employing these forces and formations and working through them to increase their influence and expand their interests at the expense of the Libyan state, And the need to put an end to the communication of any _informal bodies_ with the international community, Because it does not reflect the foreign policy of the state.
- The news that it is very likely that the President of Chad, Mahamat Kaka, and his forces supported by French drones, A meeting will be held with Saddam Haftar in the common border area known as “Kori Bogdi”, This reflects the level of tightening targeted this time for the Chadian opposition, It seems that there are international arrangements and calculations that are being translated in southern Libya.
- The resentment of the Tebu component of what is happening in their areas of influence from the expulsion of the Chadian opposition factions, It will have repercussions that the Libyan official must be aware of, And that the loss of the Chadian opposition to the areas of strength was suitable for the organization and arrangement of its ranks, will move it to the feedback box that may create chaos, Due to the security vacuum until the state extends its control and domination over all of southern Libya.
- Some battalions and military forces moved from the western region to participate in securing the south, Reflects the level of coordination and ordering achieved recently through the (5+5) committee, And the meetings that have been taking place for some time between officials from the western and eastern regions.
- Distance from media propaganda far from realism, Which does not realistically reflect the capabilities of the military institution in the country as claimed by the forces of the East, Because southern Libya and the border areas need capabilities, capabilities and numbers that are not few, The region needs coordination and arrangement with sub-Saharan countries, And activate the joint protection agreements for the inter-border border, As well as activating Libya’s agreements with the international community, especially Italy.
Finally.. The Chadian opposition, a reality and a tangible historical fact, is a problem that affects Libyan national security, and its solution needs the concerted efforts of officials in the Libyan state with their counterparts in the State of Chad under the auspices of regional – international, and be in coordination and inter-arrangement, and work to find executive procedural programs, and search for appropriate solutions to accommodate these formations and armed factions and return them to the source country – Chad, because they pose a threat to the two countries and the region on the other.
And noteworthy, There has been more than one successful experience of the voluntary return of the most important Chadian military opposition factions after the success of the Doha agreement in 2022, There was also – before the Doha agreement – a promising experience, which is the return of the strongest and most important faction in the Chadian opposition, the Military Council for the Salvation of Chad and its leader, “Mohamed Hakimi”, who withdrew with his forces and returned to his country, Chad. to be declared integrated into the Chadian army, And gave him a rank and military position suitable for him, Thus, it was announced that the most important military faction of the Chadian opposition on Libyan territory would be dissolved and ended.
We recommend .. Officials, decision makers and those interested in the Libyan state, Taking into account the crisis of the presence of Chadian, Sudanese or other opposition factions, And to make this crisis a “national security issue” that has priority in finding appropriate solutions, And to develop plans, strategies and appropriate policy papers to manage this crisis efficiently and productively, And with the participation of research centers, interested people, researchers and specialists.