Just 70 miles (112 kilometers) to the south of Sibut, government and regional forces are fortifying the town of Damara, where truckloads of Chadian troops patrol with rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons.
Gen. Jean Felix Akaga, who heads the regional force known as FOMAC, says a push on Damara, 45 miles (75 kilometers) north of the capital, would be "a declaration of war" on the 10 Central African states.
"For us, Damara is the red line that the rebels cannot cross," Akaga said Wednesday. "If they attack Damara, we will attack."
Associated Press Writer Edith M. Lederer contributed to this report from the United Nations