By Alan Cowell, Special To the New York Times
June 17, 1982

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Hissen Habre, the former Defense Minister who has emerged victorious from a civil war, has won, so far, the northern half of a country whose south is as hostile to him as it is economically vital.
He has inherited, too, a capital whose battle-scarred ruins date to his earlier, violent attempts to seize power. And he has garnered a degree of support by Westerners who, a few months ago, set up their embassies by the banks of the Shari River in recognition of the man Mr. Habre has overthrown and with whom he was once allied.
Then, as now, the Western concern in Chad implies a secondary status for this poor and divided land, for the interest of outsiders is directed mainly at containing Libya to the north - a strategic consideration acknowledged eight decades ago when France first colonized the country to provide an anchor and protection for its African empire.
Mr. Habre's men, most of them from the Moslem north and now regarded as the strongest fighting force in the land, took Ndjamena on June 7, encountering little resistance from the followers of President Goukouni Oueddei, who fled to neighboring Cameroon.
The victory mirrored an earlier defeat: in December 1980 it was Mr. Habre who left the capital when Libya sent in troops to support Mr. Goukouni. Mr. Habre went into exile in the Sudan. The Libyans, under outside pressure, withdrew last November to be replaced by a peacekeeping force from the Organization of African Unity, enabling Mr. Habre to embark on a long march back to the capital. Ambivalent U.S. Attitude
He was supported during the campaign by allies of the United States, including Egypt, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, reflecting American support for his aversion to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader.
Ostensibly, the United States recognized Mr. Goukouni's claim to power and reopened its embassy in Ndjamena last January while Mr. Habre was still far from the capital. Yet the American attitude remained ambivalent since Mr. Goukouni seemed weak and unlikely to survive while Mr. Habre's military might marked him as a more likely candidate. Unlike Mr. Goukouni, Mr. Habre expressed readiness to accept terms for a settlement proposed by the O.A.U. Mr. Goukouni, meanwhile, seemed to grow more intransigent as his army grew weaker, and he tried to renew his ties with Libya.
The ambivalance in the American attitude, a Western diplomat said, remains: there may be American food aid to Chad but no high-cost campaign to support him. The burden of Chad's reconstruction will be left to France and others. Reason for American Support
The United States supported the creation of the African peace force because it thwarted Libya's design for a merger with Chad that would have provided Colonel Qaddafi with a base for wider African activities. Washington now wants the African force to stay on a while in Chad for the same strategic reasons, and the switch of support from one leader to another seems to be motivated by similar concerns about Colonel Qaddafi.
Mr. Habre's supremacy is limited to the Moslem north. Mr. Goukouni, also a northerner, ruled as head of a loose and fissile coalition created by the O.A.U., but Mr. Habre does not have either this frail mandate or a consensus among forces other than his own fearsome desert warriors.
Mr. Habre's victory ''does not change the basic elements of the chad problem,'' Ahmat Acyl, the former Foreign Minister, said last week after fleeing the capital with his own armed followers.
In other words, the factionalism, based on tribe and religion, that has robbed Chad of peace virtually since its independence from France two decades ago has not been resolved by Mr. Habre's victory.
In a recent interview, Mr. Habre indicated that he did not plan a further military campaign to subdue the south. ''We do not want to confiscate power,'' he said, advocating negotiations with others in search of national unity. Hostilities in the South
It will not be easy. The Christian south, the only economically viable part of the country (the French called it le Tchad utile, the useful part of Chad), has recently been seen hostilities in the southern army led by Abdelkader Kamougue, Mr. Goukouni's Vice President. His pre-eminence among southerners, and thus his validity as a southern spokesman, is now in doubt.
Mr. Habre, a confidant said, is seeking a broad coalition of faction leaders, who number, at the official count, 11, including tribal chiefs, northern sultans and others. That will not be possible until the southern quarrel is settled and the south has its voice in the formation of a new government.
Mr. Habre's men have established a reputation as warriors of tight-knit ferocity who have wiped out southerners in earlier campaigns, so there is deep mistrust in the south of Chad's new ruler, the confidant said. Ruling without a mandate beyond his army's firepower, Mr. Habre also faces a large challenge to rebuild a nation ruined in waves of fighting caused by the conflicting ambitions of Chad's warlords, including himself, to reign supreme. Mr. Habre's administration, a western diplomat said, is all but broke and it has acknowledged that it does not have the cash to pay the civil servants who have stayed at their posts. The civil servants were not paid by Mr. Goukouni either.
''When you talk about Chad's reconstruction,'' the diplomat said, ''you are not just talking about providing a civil servant with a pay packet. You are talking about providing the desk for him to sit at, the chair to sit on and the paper and pens to work with.''
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