United Front for Democratic Change

United Front for Democratic Change

The United Front for Democratic Change or "Front uni pour le changement" (FUC) is a Chadian rebel alliance, made up of eight individual rebel groups, all with the goals of overthrowing the government of current Chadian President. It is now part of the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development. UFDC was founded between December 26-28, 2005 in Modeina in eastern Chad. FUC's "president" is Mahamat Nour Abdelkerim, the former leader of the Rally for Democracy and Liberty rebel group, "first vice president" Hassan Salleh Algadam, "second vice president" Abakar Tollimi, and "secretary-general" Abdelwahit About. On December 18 the RDL and another allied rebel group, Platform for Change, Unity and Democracy, attacked the city of Adré. The attack was repulsed by the Chadian military, and the Chadian government accused the Sudanese government of supporting the rebels, which Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir denies. Chad declared a "state of belligerance" with Sudan on December 23, 2005, resulting in the Chad-Sudan Conflict. The result was the Tripoli Agreement.

Abdullahi Abdel Karim, the spokesperson for the Rally for Democracy and Liberty (RDL) rebels said, "Each of our groups had their own forces, men and equipment. Now, we'll be joining them together." [http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/africa/12/30/chad.rebels.reut/index.html?section=cnn_latest]

On January 19, 2006, Abdelwahit About was arrested by the Sudanese government along with twenty other F.U.C. rebels, after he gave a radio interview stating that not only was he in Khartoum, but the F.U.C. had friendly ties to the Sudanese government. [http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/MCD042795.htm]

On April 12, 2006, rebels from the United Front drove 1000 km from their bases near the Sudan border to the Chadian capital, N'Djamena. Their attack on the capital which occurred before dawn was repelled by the Chadian army, as reported on April 13. [http://news.yahoo.com/s/cpress/20060413/ca_pr_on_wo/chad_rebels] (See Battle of N'Djamena.)

Rebel groups within FUC

The eight (defunct) rebel groups that form the FUC:
*CNT: Hassan Salleh Al Gadam (PRESIDENT)
*RDL: Mahamat Nour Abdelkerim (PRESIDENT)
*SCUD: Yaya Dillo Djérou (Coordinator)
*FIDEL: Abdelwahit About (Secretary General)
*FNTR: Babikir Ismail (Representative)
*Group of 8 December: Abakar Tollimi (Coordinator)
*CNR: Almado Awad Mardo (Chargé of defense)
*FRRRT: Yaya Batit Ali Al-Mahmoudi (President)

2006 peace accord

On December 24, 2006, Chad's President Idriss Deby Itno and rebel leader Mahamat Nour Abdelkerim signed a peace accord ending hostilities between the Chadian government and the United Front for Democratic Change. A substantial portion of the forces commanded by Abdelkerim were scheduled to be integrated into the Chadian national army over the subsequent three months, but the remaining rebel factions continued to fight on against the government. [cite news| url =http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article19438 | title = Chad president and rebel leader sign peace accord | publisher = Sudan Tribune |date = 2006-12-25 ] Abdelkerim was brought into the government as Minister of Defense in March 2007. [ [http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=86&art_id=nw20070304223513103C118965 "Kassire chooses former rebel for key post"] , Reuters ("IOL"), March 5, 2007.]

Serious fighting between elements of FUC and the government forces took place on October 18 2007 at Goz-Beïda. [http://www.jeuneafrique.com/fluxafp/fil_info.asp?reg_id=0&art_cle=39886 "Combats dans l'est du Tchad: 13 ex-rebelles tués, 6 soldats blessés selon l'armée"] , AFP (Jeuneafrique.com), October 19, 2007 fr icon.] [ [http://apanews.net/apa.php?page=show_article_eng&id_article=44594 "Former Chadian rebels recapture Goz Beida garrison following heavy fighting"] , African Press Agency, October 19, 2007.] The fighting was said to have been precipitated by the unwillingness of the FUC elements to dismarm and integrate into the army, as provided for in the peace agreement. Abdelkerim urged these FUC elements to accept integration into the army.

Child soldiers

According to reports in May 2007, the rebel group has more than 1,000 child soldiers within its ranks. There are ongoing negiotiations with the government of Chad for their demobilization. [cite news | title = NICEF and Chad sign agreement to demobilize child soldiers | date = 2007-05-10 | url = http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=22517&Cr=chad&Cr1= | publisher = UN News Centre ]

ee also

*Second Battle of Adré


External links

* [http://somalinet.com/news/world/East%20Africa/8179 "Chad: Former rebel leader becomes defense minister"]

* [http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/africa/12/30/chad.rebels.reut/index.html?section=cnn_latest "Chad rebels join to overthrow president"] - CNN (accessed December 30)
* [http://www.fucd.com/page.php?page=33 "Sudan arrests 20 Chadian rebels in Khartoum"] - Reuters (accessed January 20, 2006)
* [http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article19438 "Chad president and rebel leader sign peace accord"] - Sudan Tribune (accessed December 26, 2006)

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