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The Zaghawa tribe of eastern Chad is a minority group in the country wielding influence well beyond its numbers.

For a thousand years, the tribe has traditionally roamed the lands across Chad's unstable east and Sudan's northern Darfur, swaying the politics of the region.

Idriss Deby, the Chadian President, is a member of the tribe, and so are the leaders and foot soldiers of two of Darfur's most powerful rebel groups - Khalil Ibrahim of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and Minni Minawi of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM).

Anyone who wishes to take power in Chad or in Darfur - and stay there - needs to court the Zaghawa.

Al Jazeera's May Ying Welsh visited one of their traditional areas, the sultanate of Kabka in eastern Chad, to learn more about them.

Source: Al Jazeera