A Dangerous Friend

PASCAL GUYOT / AFP/GETTY

RIDING HIGH: Chadian soldiers patrol in N'Djamena after rebel assaults on the capital were repelled with French help

The only surprise about this month's battle for Chad's capital city N'Djamena is that it was so long in coming. Every Chadian political dispute in the last 40 years has been settled by force of arms, and the latest conflict is running true to form. A coalition of Chadian rebels, backed by Sudan, made a lightning dash westward across the country from Darfur and assaulted the capital city. Hundreds of soldiers and civilians died in two days of bloody street fighting before Chad's President, Idriss Déby, with help from the French, rallied and pushed back his enemies. The tense standoff comes...

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