Updates on the Chadian Government’s Fight with the CCMSR Rebels

Late last month, I wrote about the Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic (French acronym CCMSR) and its recent activities, including the 11 August attack on Kouri Bougri, Tibesti region. Here are some key developments since late August:

  • 21 August: CCMSR reportedly attacks Tarbou, in the area of Kouri Bougri, and seizes weapons and documents. The government denies it.
  • 1 September: The Chadian military conducts aerial bombings in the Tibesti region, targeting “a site between Miski and Yebibou.” (Map of Miski)
  • 3 September: Chadian rebel alliance the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development (UFDD) releases statement denouncing the military’s attacks in Tibesti, as well as the installation of a G5 Sahel joint force post in Zouar, Chad (map) – or perhaps we should say that the post will instead be north of Zouar at Wour (see here for some background from a French government perspective).

See also below, from MENASTREAM:

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Some Background on Chad’s CCMSR Rebel Movement

In Chad, a northern rebel movement is getting more attention, particularly after its recent attack on Kouri Bougri* – enough attention that President Idriss Deby referenced them in his 20 August Eid al-Adha/Tabaski speech, although they quickly rejected his call for them to lay down arms.

The movement is called the Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic (French acronym CCMSR). RFI says it is “the best armed” of Chad’s rebel movements, and quite possibly also the largest. Formed in 2016 in southern Libya, it includes a number of rebels who previously fought with other groups.

The CCMSR’s secretary-general is Mahamat Hassan Boulmaye. In October 2017, Boulmaye, his spokesman Ahmat Yacoub Adam, and external affairs secretary Abdraman Issa Youssouf, were arrested in Niger (reports conflict as to whether it was near Agadez or in Niamey; Niamey is the version the CCMSR gave). They may have been extradited to Chad – specifically to the Koro Toro prison – but as of May 2018 both Chadian and Nigerien authorities refused to confirm that. The interim secretary-general is Mahamat Tahir Acheick, about whom I could find very little information. You can listen to a French audio message from Boulmaye here, and David Kampmann has more background on the movement here.

The CCMSR’s activities have affected Libya as well. In March 2018, Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army conducted “air raids [that] targeted a rebel-held roadblock 400km southeast of Sebha, as well as other positions in an oasis in the Terbu region 400km farther south.”

The history of rebellions in Chad is too complex to summarize here, but a good place to start for background is Marielle Debos’ Living by the Gun in Chad.

*Kouri Bougri does not show up on Google Maps, but here is a map of the Tibesti Region, where Kouri Bougri is located.