INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Chad: Soubiane's Rebels "Re-Integrated" Into

Published: Fri 30 Oct 2009 02:01 PM
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O 301401Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7381
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TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREF PREL MARR SU CD
SUBJECT: CHAD: SOUBIANE'S REBELS "RE-INTEGRATED" INTO
CHADIAN ARMY, LESS 120-150 CHILD SOLDIERS HANDED TO UNICEF
REF: A. NDJAMENA 362
B. NDJAMENA 306
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SOUBIANE'S REBELS
"RE-JOIN" CHADIAN ARMY
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1. (U) The GOC announced October 28 that some 1,744 fighters
from Ahmat Soubiane's National Movement (MN) rebel group had
been integrated into the Chadian Army (ANT) on October 27 in
a ceremony conducted in the GOC's military re-integration
camp in the town of Moussoro, some 100 miles northeast of
N'Djamena The MN fighters brought with them some 47
vehicles, 17 of them with crew-served weapons mounted on
them. National Mediator Abderamane Moussa presided over the
ceremony, along with senior ANT and other GOC officials. The
MN was represented by Soubiane and Issa Moussa Tamboule,
president and vice-president, respectively.
2. (U) The National Mediator congratulated the MN chiefs and
fighters for having taken advantage of President Deby's "open
hand" policy to return to Chad and join in the development of
the country (Ref B). The MN fighters will be paid their
"arrears of salary" starting October 28. The lead ANT
representative at Moussoro announced that "the minors among
the MN fighters will be identified, registered, and handed
over to UNICEF in Chad."
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120 CHILD SOLDIERS
REMITTED TO UNICEF
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3. (SBU) UNICEF Country Director Marzio Babille told
Ambassador October 28 that he expected that the GOC to remit
between 120 and 150 child soldiers from Soubiane's MN
fighters to UNICEF's custody. He said that 22 minors, of
Tama ethnic origin, aged 12-17 years, had already been handed
to UNICEF's custody and that he expected another 100-125 to
be handed over after UNICEF and the GOC jointly conducted
age-verification and certification, starting October 28.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde Johnson met some from
the first group of 22 the latter's recent visit to Chad. The
underage fighters were now lodged at the UNICEF-supported
Transit Center operated by the GOC Ministry of Social Action
in Moussoro before being transferred to the program's
rehabilitation and reintegration center in N'Djamena.
Babille added that one female soldier had been at the Transit
Center a month ago, but was later certified to be 18 years of
ago.
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GOC INVITES DIPS AND IOS
TO VISIT MILITARY CAMPS
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4. (U) The MFA is continuing its awareness campaign against
the use of child soldiers (Ref A). Following up on August
visits to military and law enforcement headquarters, the MFA
has invited UN and diplomatic officials to visit two
additional military camps as the GOC widens its outreach to
sensitize GOC military commanders and reviews the ranks for
potential underage combatants. In the coming days, the MFA
will lead this delegation to military camps in Moussoro and
Mongo. Embassy officers will participate.
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COMMENT
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5. (SBU) The GOC has performed better up to now on underage
returning rebels than on underage soldiers in its own ranks.
We are working with UNICEF and others to move the GOC to
greater concrete action on its own underage soldiers and
camp-servants.
NDJAMENA 00000499 002 OF 002
6. (SBU) Despite suspicions that fewer than half of
Soubiane's cadres are actual fighters (with the rest having
"signed up" for the financial incentives offered by the GOC)
the reintegration of Soubiane's MN group is good news. END
COMMENT.
7. (U) Minimize considered.
NIGRO
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