(The juxtaposition of Chad and Sudan, the fact that they're neighbors has a bearing on what's going on right now. Tell us about that). It's important to know that both Chad and Sudan have supported rebel groups trying to depose the other regime. The Chadian rebels are supported materially by the Khartoum regime and the attack was planned to coincide with the deployment of a European force to protect civilians and humanitarians working in the far east of Chad. This comes down to many countries like France and their decision about whether or not to support the corrupt president of Chad who came to power by a military coup by 1990. (Are these Chadian rebels sent by the government of Sudan, are they funded by the government of Sudan?) I think both. Much of the material aid to the Chadian rebels who have found refuge in Darfur and also Khartoum's directing of the rebels, they know they need to attack now because the Europeans will make it more difficult to attack. This European force was supposed to deploy in October but it was delayed until now and even now the Europeans may get cold feet and decide they won't introduce their troops into what gives a good deal of promise of becoming a war zone. (So the rebels tactic is working). Yes, and if the Europeans don't deploy it will be easier for Khartoum in the Darfur region. (What's the relationship of this to the fighting in Darfur?) They really have relatively little interest in what's going on in Darfur. They have at time assisted the government of Sudan in its conduct of genocidal combat. But the Chadian rebels have no political will. They just hate the king of Chad and want to take control. (Who would be served by all out war there?) Khartoum, they're the only beneficiary of chaos or a rebel victory or a defeated Chadian king. (Everything comes down to Sudan. Why does he remain so strong?) This is the right question to ask. Al Bashir heads the Islamic National Front and has maintained a stranglehold on Sudanese wealth and power. He faces little international opposition of consequence and that's because of the role of China which has insulated his regime.