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December 21, 2016
Document Release Date: 
June 27, 2008
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August 10, 1983
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PDF icon CIA-RDP88-01070R000200820010-7.pdf114.01 KB
Approved For Release 2008/06/27: CIA-RDP88-0107OR000200820010-7 ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT 10 August 1983 C :AD/LIPYA/ JENNINGS: Good evening. The war ir. Chad raises many questions, ". S./-RF.NCE some long-range. and some short. Does it matter who wins? How, if at all, will American interests be affected in north Central Africa? And what will a victory for the rebels, if it happens, mean for their principal supporter, Libya's Cal. Khadafy? Tonight, the immediate question centers on the northern oasis town of Fava-Largeau. That's the principal scene of the fighting today between th.e government and the rebels. Has it faller.? No one is absolutely sure, though reports from Chad's capital tonight suggest its immediate future may be hanging in the balance. We begin our report on this former trench colony, overseas with ABC's Pierre Salinger in Paris. SALINGq: Rebel forces headed by former Chadian President Goukouni Oueddei, supported by Libyan troops, tanks and aircraft opened a massive attack this morning on the strategic oasis of Faya-Largeau in, the north of Chad. There is growing fear in defense and diplomatic circles here that the military situation in Chad is deteriorating rapidly, posing a se?ions thereat to the future of the French and American-backed government of President Hissene H:abre. Some 2,500 of Habre's best troops have been surrounded in. Faya-Largeau for a week. Goukouni's representative in Paris, "Abduron !iussa. claimed Faye-Largeau had fallen into the hands of the rebels. In the capital, N'Djamena, the Chadian information minister conceded iiabre's troops were in serious trouble and said the attack had been beaten back after three hours of hard fighting. Thus the fate of Faye-Largeau remains in question. What is confirmed is that Libya is deeply involved in the conflict. ABC News Has learned from a former mercenary pilot who worked for the Libyans that ether mercenary ri' many of then recruited b7 the former C3A a?ent own Meson. have been fivia up to six fli hts a day an C-_ nercuies transports from Sabhah. in Libya. to `ya-:.argeau, tr anspor t in troops and a-Ms We we. they ve also been flyin? sh p tomold i ment_ o_ a small i_ian fighter plane to provide air cover for advancing ground troops. French paratroopers, who have been stationed in the Central Africa Republic, were ordered into the Chad capital, N'Djamera, last night. The first contingence arrived today. J.nd French government sources said a total of 600 paratroopers are being dispatched to Chad as training instructors to shore up the Chadian army. A number of American advisers, seen here in civilian clothes, are already in Chad to instruct the army in the use of Red-Eye missiles sent by the Reagan administration. If Taya-Largeau has really-fallen, and with it 2,500 of izabre's best troops--reportedly 85i of his army. It will be a heavy blow to Habre and his French and American supporters. It will open the road to the Libyan-backed rebels to re-establish domination over Chad. Pierre Salinger, ABC News, Paris. CQN 1NUED Approved For Release 2008/06/27: CIA-RDP88-0107OR000200820010-7 Approved For Release 2008/06/27: CIA-RDP88-0107OR000200820010-7 a. JENNINGS: Well, two more questions: What will the French, or what will the United States do to prevent the rebels from taking over northern Chad and then perhaps advanci ca ng South to Chad's pital of N'Djamen; : Beres our senior correspondent John Scali. SCALI: 50p U.S. intelli ence is warning that France is unwilling to deploy enough military force to stop attacking Libvan forces from seizing all northern Chad. The French strategy appears to be to accept a partial Libyan military victory in order to avoid a major confrontation with Col. Khadafy, which would endanger French economic and financial interests' in Libya. Paris insists there is no alternative in view of the unpopularity with the French public of the pro-Western liabre government. President Mitterrand is reported ready as needed, however, to send substantial ground forces plus air power to help keep the capita] of N'Djamena from falling. If they are sent, French reinforcements will join some 2,500 troops from Zaire who are being air-lifted to N'Djamena by American planes. In backstage talks, U.S. administration leaders have made it known they will not substitute American personnel to carry out military responsibilites the U.S. believes the French should show. American aid will not be escalated, officials say. No U.S. troops will be sent to Chad. t'. S. intelljgence believes that ever a partial victory will threaten Libya's neighbors, particularly Niger, a former French colorv with uranium deposits.. President Reagan is reported disappointed that the French are not doing more to stop Khadafy.' But French authorities explain that French public opinion would not back a major French military involvement in Chad any more than American public opinion will support American military intervention in El Salvador. John Scali, ABC News, Washington. Approved For Release 2008/06/27: CIA-RDP88-0107OR000200820010-7