War doesn’t always obey established national boundaries, and rival nations often use rebellions or insurgencies to settle old scores or grab more territory. France supplied military assistance to the nascent United States as a way to pursue its ancient vendetta with England; England would later support the Confederate rebellion in its erstwhile colonies. The proud military tradition of kicking your enemies while they’re down continues today, and one example can be found in the Republic Chad.
Half a dozen rebel groups-many consisting of mutineers and deserters from the national army- have waged a guerrilla war against the government of Chad since 2005. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of a million civilians have fled westward out of Darfur, across the border into Chad. According Chad’s government, the Janjaweed habitually sortie into the country, killing refuges and attacking Chadian civilians and infrastructure. From a certain point of view, it makes sense: the Janjaweed continue to slaughter their ancestral enemies while harassing the rival nation, and the Sudanese government maintains plausible deniability while killing two birds with one stone.
The neighboring Central African Republic sees a similar conflict, also allegedly fueled by Janjaweed involvement. In recent months, the situation seems to have grown still more complex; now Chad may be arming Sudanese resistance fighters, to better fight the Janjaweed-and, of course, stir up more trouble in Sudan. The Central African Republic may follow suit. If the strain between Sudan and its western neighbors continues to increase, a full-scale border war may result.
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