Nigeria Tightens Up Border Security With Chad To Forestall Influx Of Refugees From Sudan, Countries Evacuate Citizens

By Suleiman Umaru

 President Muhammadu Buhari, who had described the war between the Sudan Armed Forces, SAF, and the Rapid support Forces, RRF, para military, as unfortunate appears to have joined other African Leaders to end the two week-old war.The war, according security experts has become a threat to its seven neighbouring countries-Chad, Ethiopia, the Central African Republic, Libya and South Sudan, which have faced   armed conflict in the recent years.

Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, an Army General and the Chadian Transition Leader  had told the Katsina state born Nigerian President in Saudi Arabia during the Ramadam, that  urgent steps  need to be taken by the African Leaders to contain  the Sudan conflict ‘’, noting that if not arrested , will have  ‘’serious  repercussions  on neighbouring countries, that share boundary with it, particular, Chad,  which also  shares border with Nigeria, the most populous country in  the African Continent.

. He may have alluded to the problem of the influx Refugees from the North African country to the neigbouring country and which will in turn affect other African countries. The Chadian Leader may have known the implications of the Sudanese Refugees to his country and which may also turn to a problem to Nigeria that the country had closed its borders with the war torn country and reinforced security in response to the intractable crisis The Nigerian President may have known that the Sudan war will cause Refugees problem in the African Continent.

This may have  informed why  he has ordered the Army and other  security agencies  Chiefs to mobilise their men to tighten up security between Nigerian and Chad, in the lake Chad Basisn and other member countries of the Lake Chad Basin too forestall the influx of the Sudan refugees into the country.  The Army, Chief ,Lt. Gen. Farouk Yah ayaya, may have key into the Presidential directive as more Troops were said to have deployed to the Lake Chad Basin in the recent time to control the movement of people, goods and services, across border.

Sudanese Refugees In Chad

.The United Nations UN, Refugee Agency had said that no fewer than 20,000 Sudanese Refugees have entered into Chad since the war broke out in the country.  Laura Locatro, Representative of the UN’S High Commissioner for Refugees in Chad had said that most of the Refugees were women and Children.  The Refugee claimed that this is the third time they have fled their country and may not want to return to Sudan again.

The Chadian government major worries was that the Sudan crisis  may spill  across  border  to where the refugees live in the country speaks volume. Gen. Itno. Head of the country’s Transition Council may have spill the bean when he  revealed  that the Arab militias, better known as Ijaweed, which metamorphosed  into the RSF,  had at one time or the other raided  the Darfur  refugees   and Chadian villages, seizing livestock and killing those who resisted.

He was said to have likened their   style  of operations to that of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, in the north eastern states of Borno , Yobe and the Bandits group, operating  in the north western states of  Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and Katsina, home state of Buhari, including the north central stat of Niger.

 The Chadian Army General, may have given the Nigerian government a cause for concern when he said that the country army, rhas ‘’disarmed a contingent of 320 para-military forces that had entered the country on Monday, April 17, 2023’’.

He fears that the Sudan crisis may be internalized as the Mercenaries working for the Russia’s Wagner group in the neigbhouring central African country of  , Central African Country,  have close ties  with the RSF and could back the Chadia Rbels and even infliterate the ranks of BokoHaram and ISWAP, in Nigeria.   

Gen. Burhan: Sudanes Leader

As a prelude to the Sudan war, there have been internal  rivalry between Generals  Abdel-al Burhan, the Head of the country’s Ruling  Council, SRC, and Commander of the country’s fragmented   Army the  and  Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, believed to be  a very wealthy man and who was a one-time  militia Leader in Sudan .

 The worry of many was that the duo, were the key actors in the country’s ruling Council. Dagalo, better known in military circles as Hemedti, was said to be  Gen. Burhan’s Deputy in the ruling  Council that take make the major  day to day decisions of the country   and make political appointments.

  The two Army Generals, according to political Observers may have hated each other’s guts from the time of the formation of the country’s ruling Council.  The tension came to a head on Saturday, April 15, 2023, and which may have derailed an internationally backed plan for a transition to a democratically elected government after the removal of Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

The two warring Army Generals  were said to have previously worked together in toppling the Al-Bashir infamous  regime  and orchestrating a military  coup  in October 2021 that removed Abdalla Hamdok, the Civilian Prime minister and   his Cabinet.  The SAF, RSF  and the Civilian Political Leaders  were said to have agreed  to a new  framework  for a Democratic transition  in December, 2021.

However, the questions that was said to  have emerged  was how the RSF, paramilitary,  would be  integrated into the SAF, as well as well over  who would assume Leadership of the newly consolidated Army.  General Burhan, the SAF, Commander was not ready to cede the exalted position  to  Gen. Dagalo of the RSF, and the RSF, leader , equally was not ready shift ground  for the SAF Commander.  It was a ding-dung affair. Indeed, Negotiations between the two parties were said to have been stalled as tensions quickly rose leading to the current armed conflict in the country.

Unlike past conflicts  between 2001 and 2013, in the  North African country, which were, said to have been  fought mostly  in the  remote areas,  this time around, the conflict between the two rival Army  Generals, which  are tearing apart, Kkartoun , the Country’s Capital , are centered around  the Presidential Palace, SAF, Headquarters and the Khartoun’s airport, which is the major  airport in the country, thus forcing countries to evacuate their citizens from the city.  

The  Saudi Foreign ministry had said that over  150  of its citizens trapped in he war torn country, including  91 other citizens and 66  nationals from 12 other countries , and India have been evacuated from the  country as well.

.There indications that the Arab  country have also helped  countries like Kuwait,  Qatar,  United Arab Emirates, UAE,   Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Bangladesh,  The Philistines, Canada,  and Burkina Faso, in evacuating  their citizens from Sudan. These countries which citizens were evacuated were said to have been  mostly ‘’Diplomats and government officials’’.

The North American country of the United States, US,  , on its part, were said to have  rescued its  diplomatic personnel, stuck in the midst  of the Sudan war  for more than a week  and evacuated from Khartoun, the Capital .  The country’s military planes were said to have been used to airlift the Embassy officials.

The SAF and RSF, may not have thwarted he US government efforts to evacuate their diplomatic personnel from Khartoun, the Capital, as they were said to have fully prepared for the rescue operations.

The office of the US, Secretary of State has confirmed that over 100 special operations Troops were involved in the evacuation of the country’s under 100 Embassy officials with six military Transport helicopters. The ministry had said that the country had received support of  its allies and other partners, including  Djibouti, Ethiopia and Saudia Arbia, which were said to  have opened up their air space for the US special Forces to use for the landing and take- off of their aircrafts. This is because, the Khartoun airport, has been shut due to the ongong war in the country.

Given the seriousness of the Sudan war, the  National Emergency  Management Agency, NEMA, under the close watch of Mustapha Ahmed, at the instance of Buhari, was said to  have set up a Committee  ‘’to work towards  rescuing  Nigerians trapped  in the North African country  due to the unrest’’.

The NEMA, Director General may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he said that the agency is working  on all possible options  of bringing  the stranded  Nigerians back  home . Abike Dabiri- Erewa,  Chairman, Nigerians in Diosora Commission, NIDCOM, had said that the Committee became necessary because  of’’ the inability to evacuate   Nigerian citizens in the troubled country  with regards to airlifting them  as all airports  and land borders in the country  have been closed.

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