Chad 'not fighting with Gaddafi troops'

2011-04-16 20:00

N'djamena - Chad's foreign minister on Saturday rejected allegations by Libyan rebels fighting the government of leader Muammar Gaddafi that Chadian officers were fighting alongside Gaddafi's soldiers.

Moussa Faki Mahmat, addressing diplomatic envoys to the Central African state's capital, said a report by the Libyan transitional national council and submitted to the UN Security Council that alleged Chadian army officers were in Libya was untrue.

"We want to formally deny those accusations and, as proof, the officers mentioned in the report are here present," Mahmat said, pointing to nine soldiers seated in the room.

Rebels say Gaddafi has brought in African mercenaries from countries such as Chad and Zimbabwe to help Libyan troops trying to put down the uprising against Gaddafi's rule.

The minister said Chad had asked France to help monitor its border with Libya and allegations that thousands of Chadian fighters had crossed into Libya and that Gaddafi had moved a large consignment of gold into Chad were also not true.

"How could tonnes of gold belonging to Gaddafi be sent to Chad without anyone seeing them?" he asked.