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US orders embassy staff to leave Chad as rebels near capital

US orders embassy staff to leave Chad as rebels near capital
April 18
18:36 2021

The US has ordered the departure of non-essential staff from its embassy in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, due to fear of armed violence.


Unrest in the West African country had escalated as rebel fighters approached the capital city on Sunday.

The US action comes as partial provisional results from the April 11 election showed that Idriss Deby is on course to extend his 30-year rule as president of Chad.

“Armed non-governmental groups in northern Chad have moved south and appear to be heading toward N’Djamena,” the US state department said.


“Due to their growing proximity to N’Djamena and the possibility for violence in the city, non-essential U.S. government employees have been ordered to leave Chad by commercial airline.

“The government of Chad may impose travel restrictions without notice, which may affect travel plans. The government of Chad may block communications channels, including telephone service, social media, and internet.

“The U.S. Government has extremely limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Chad as U.S. Government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside of the capital, including the Lake Chad Basin.”


Similarly, the British government urged its citizens in Chad to leave the country by commercial means “as soon as possible”.

According to the UK, two armed convoys from the rebel Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) were advancing towards N’Djamena.

One convoy was said to be moving from the town of Faya toward the capital, and another was headed toward the town of Mao.

On Saturday, the Chadian military said it had halted an advance by rebels coming from neighbouring Libya.


Azim Bermandoa Agouna, the Chadian army spokesman, had said the rebel column from Libya was “totally decimated”.


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