Mohammed Nour Abdelkerim
Mohammed Nour Abdelkerim (* 1960) is a former Chadian rebel leader. After signing a peace agreement with the government, he served as Minister of Defense for nine months in 2007.
Nour founded and led the rebel group Rally for Democracy and Liberty until it became a subsidiary to the United Front for Democratic Change rebel alliance, led by Nour and formed between December 26-December 28, 2005. Nour masterminded the Second Battle of Adré on December 18, 2005, that ended with the deaths of either 100 or 300 rebels. After the attack, Chadian President Idriss Déby declared a state of war with Sudan. The first battle of the Chad-Sudan conflict took place on December 26 when Chadian troops crossed the border with Sudan while pursuing the RDL.
Nour said RDL wanted to hold elections after a two-year interim period, but that he would run for office. "I don't even want power after that," he said.
Interview with Opheera McDoom
Mohammed Nour was interviewed by Opheera McDoom, the first time he was interviewed by a western journalist, on February 13. He told McDoom that Chadian army deserters join UFDC ranks every day, and that the troops bring their weapons and supplies with them. Colonel Ahmed Youssef Bishara's defection alone brings 1,800 new troops. "There's not been anything as big as this in all my experience. Here we have many heavy weapons and many troops -- much more than Déby had. Déby has taken the money from the Chadian people -- now we want freedom. We have people in the high ranks with us. When Déby is sleeping we know what he just ate for dinner."
Nour signed a peace agreement with Déby in Tripoli, Libya on December 24, 2006, speaking of the need for reconciliation. Other rebel groups rejected this and said they would continue to fight. On March 4, 2007, he was named Minister of Defense as part of a cabinet reshuffle in the new government of Prime Minister Delwa Kassiré Koumakoye.
The disarming and integration of FUC fighters into the army, as provided for in the peace agreement, went poorly, and clashes erupted between FUC fighters and the army. Following fighting at Goz-Beïda on October 18, 2007, Nour ordered FUC fighters accept integration into the army, threatening that those who did not would face punishment for insubordination and would be considered deserters. The situation reportedly led to distrust between Déby and Nour and doubts about the loyalty of FUC fighters to the government. Amid escalating fighting in the east with another rebel group, the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development, Déby dismissed Nour from the government on December 1, 2007, without giving a reason. Nour took refuge in the Libyan embassy.
- "Chad rebel leader demands change, by force if needed". Reuters AlertNet. 12 February 2006. Archived from the original on 27 February 2006.
- Salah Sarrar, "Deby, rebel leader sign peace accord", Reuters (IOL), December 25, 2006.
- "Kassire chooses former rebel for key post", Reuters (IOL), March 5, 2007.
- "Chadian defence minister sacked", BBC News, December 1, 2007.
- "Combats dans l'est du Tchad: 13 ex-rebelles tués, 6 soldats blessés selon l'armée", AFP (Jeuneafrique.com), October 19, 2007 (French).
- "Chad president fires defense minister as rebels threaten EU force", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), December 1, 2007.
- "Chad's President Fires His Defense Minister", VOA News, December 1, 2007.