From a dark corner of the world noone cares about.... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/6196652.stm Quote: French planes attack CAR rebels French fighter planes have fired at rebels in northern Central African Republic (CAR) where thousands have fled fighting in recent weeks. French Mirages attacked rebel positions in Ouadda and N'Dele in support of government forces. A rebel spokesman told the BBC that five of his fighters had been killed. It is the second time this week that French forces have fought the rebels. The UN has warned CAR's conflict is linked with fighting in Chad and Sudan. CAR shares its northern borders with the two countries, which have been plagued by insecurity since trouble erupted in Sudan's western Darfur region in 2003. Earlier this month, France promised to provide logistics and intelligence to CAR in their struggle against rebels who have recently seized several towns. The government says the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UFDR) rebels are operating from Darfur with the support of the Sudanese authorities. The BBC's Joseph Benamse in Bangui says France recently added 100 troops to its 200 soldiers stationed in CAR. Under bilateral accords, France's military provides logistical and intelligence support to some of its former colonies in Africa. The UFDR rebels say they are fighting against corruption and mismanagement under President Francois Bozize, who seized power in a 2003 coup. The United Nations says 46,000 people have crossed over to neighbouring Chad because of the unrest and another 90,000 are internally displaced within eastern CAR. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20061130...trafricarebels Quote: Rebels foiled in northern Central Africa attack by Christian Panika Thu Nov 30, 2:47 PM ET Rebels tried to recapture the northeastern town of Birao in the Central African Republic but were driven back by the army and French fighter jets providing air support, a rebel leader said. The country's (CAR) army fought rebels to regain territory as far as Ouadda, 700 kilometres (435 miles) northeast of the capital Bangui, on Thursday. Having left the mining town of Bria on Tuesday, a column of soldiers from the CAR armed forces (FACA) and the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) were deployed on Wednesday evening to Ouadda's aerodrome. They then entered Ouadda on Thursday and clashed with members of the rebel Union of Democratic Forces for the Rally (UFDR), a CAR military source told AFP. Fighting continued into the afternoon, the source said on condition of anonymity. The French defence ministry's spokesperson, Jean-Francois Bureau, said in Paris that the FACA, the multinational CEMAC forces and a French detachment met "strong and organized resistance" in the area. French fighter jets opened fire on rebels operating in two towns in the north, a spokesman for the French armed forces confirmed in Paris. "The Mirages fired in two places, in Ouadda and Ndele, where the Central African armed forced were once more engaged with 14.5 millimetre heavy machine guns," said Christophe Prazuck, a French naval captain and spokesman. "They (CAR) suffered casualties within their ranks and asked each time for the French support to intervene," he explained. The UFDR military chief told AFP his men were leaving Ouadda. "FACA and CEMAC attacked our positions this (Thursday) morning," captain Yao Bejo said by satellite telephone. "I ordered a tactical withdrawal of my men," he added. Neither of the two sides reported a toll of dead or injured from the fighting in Ouadda. The CAR defence ministry announced on national radio that six FACA soldiers were injured, two seriously, during the fighting at the aerodrome. In his statement, the minister welcomed the troops' progress. "FACA's recapture of all the zones until recently occupied by the rebels is entering its final phase," he added. The government counter-offensive, supported by France, started on Monday with the attack on Birao, 800 kilometres (500 miles) northeast of Bangui, which the rebels had taken on October 30. Having taken the aerodrome, backed by French land and air power, FACA took back control of the town the following day. During the operation on Monday evening, French Mirage F1 jets attacked rebels who had opened fire, killing seven, the French command in Paris said. The rebels' military chief said Thursday that heavy clashes were still taking place around Birao on Wednesday. This fighting was not however confirmed from Paris or Bangui. According to Captain Yao, the fighting around Birao prompted an exodus of villagers. "Hundreds of locals, mainly women and children, fled their villages in the direction of Sudan," he said. Despite their retreat, the UFDR chief said his troops were still located near San Ouandja and Ouadda Djalle, northeast of Ouadda, and remained around Birao. In a message on national radio on Thursday, a day before CAR's national holiday, French president Jacques Chirac reassured the country of France's continuing support. "France stands by the CAR more than ever to support its efforts to find stability and peace," Chirac said. Meanwhile, the CAR's private press renewed a strike, leaving news stands empty for a second three-day period in protest against "death threats" against its editors. "The three days without newspapers were well observed because the death threats and suppression of certain organisations constitutes a serious threat to the freedom of the press," said Michel Alkhaly Ngady, president of the Group of Editors in the Central African Independent Press (GEPPIC). "We must not wait for these threats to be carried out before we act," he added. GEPPIC last week denounced "an influential member of the government" who it said had shouted at journalists: "You are selling the country ... You are going to die like chicken, like flies." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ My O,2 euro cents; Chad, a neighbouring country, should soon get up to 1,5 Bn USD in oil royalties from different companies drilling its fields (mostly US and chinese companies BTW, not a single french oil company among those...). Since it's been known, the region is in turmoil with rebel movements trying to overthrow both the Chadian and the CAR governments. In both cases, those rebel movements receive sudanese help. And in both cases, the French armed forces have been used either to monitore the advance of the rebels or to stop them.