Chad has sent men and material to reinforce the border with the Central African Republic despite agreeing to jointly investigate a CAR attack that left six Chadian soldiers dead, a provincial governor said Thursday.
“I’ve come from the area and we have reinforced our positions with men and material,” army general Moussa Haroun Tirgo, governor of southern Chad’s Eastern Logone province, told AFP. “Nothing will be like before,” he vowed, noting five of the six dead had been “kidnapped and executed.”
“The military have strengthened the security arrangements on the border,” confirmed Julien Tawonya, mayor of Bitoye town where the attack occurred. “The bodies of the executed soldiers have not been moved,” and are still in CAR, he said.
Chad has blamed the CAR army for Sunday’s attack, which it labeled a “war crime” that would “not go unpunished.” CAR has put the blame on rebels it said its forces had been pursuing.
Tensions appeared to have eased after the two countries’ foreign ministers met Tuesday.
The two parties “underlined the urgency of clarifying the circumstances in which this attack took place” and agreed to set up an independent international commission of inquiry.” They also agreed to work together to strengthen security along the border.
The inquiry was to involve the United Nations, the African Union, and the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC).
The CEEAC holds a summit in Brazzaville on Friday focusing on Chad where Mahamat Idriss Deby has taken over from his president father who died fighting rebels after 30 years in power.
The border incident has placed the spotlight on the occasionally fraught relations between Chad — ruled by a junta that took power just weeks ago — and the CAR, an unstable country battling powerful armed groups.
CAR regularly accuses its northern neighbor of supporting armed rebel groups from inside Chad.