Chad war heats up again; Sudan supresses protests

Chad‘s military launched air-strikes and ground assaults against rebels from the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) in the east of the country Dec. 15, in the first major fighting since May. The UFR says four civilians were killed and many more wounded in the clashes, near the Sudan border. The government, which charges that Sudan backs the insurgency, denies any civilian casualties. (BBC News, Dec. 15)

The fighting came a day after riot police fired tear gas to break up more than 200 demonstrators in Khartoum—the second clash with opposition supporters in a week as political tensions mount ahead of April elections. The violence comes as rival parties agreed on rules for a national election and referendum on southern independence due in the next two years. Up to 48 opposition supporters will face charges for taking part in the banned rally. (Reuters, Dec. 15; BBC News, Dec. 14)

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