The Rally of Democratic Forces
(in French Rassemblement des Forces Démocratiques
or RaFD) is a Chadian rebel
group led by Timan Erdimi
. It is currently allied to the United Front for Democratic Change
rebel group and both are dedicated to overthrowing Erdimi's uncle, the current Chadian President Idriss Déby
and his administration
. As of May 1
, RAFD has a significant presence in the cities of Guéréda
. The 12,000 troops that make up the RAFD were expected to disrupt the 2006 presidential elections, but they did not, and President Déby was returned to power.
The movement has been recently renamed Rassemblement des forces pour le changement (RFC).
September 2006 government offensive
On September 19
, 2006, the Government of Chad
began a campaign involving 3,000 against the RAFD, according to the Military of Chad
. The troops attacked RAFD rebels at the Hadjer Marfaine
area bordering Sudan
, while simultaneously attacking other groups within the UFDC
, and Aram Kolle
. Mahamat Inee, RAFD spokesperson, said, "We were attacked by two columns of government troops on 19 September, but we repelled them." Inee said the RAFD took 43 government soldiers prisoner, and seized 40 jeeps and trucks and two tanks. He confirmed news reports that French
Mirage fighter jets stationed in Abeche made surveillance runs over the RAFD's position. Timane Edrimi warned that "all French citizens, military or civil, that fall into the hands of our combatants will be considered like mercenaries
and treated accordingly."