Deby wants UN to resolve crisis

2009-05-14 10:02
N'Djamena - Chad wants the United Nations, not the African Union (AU), to try and resolve its crisis with neighbouring Sudan, President Idriss Deby said on Wednesday.

Deby told a rally of several thousand supporters in the capital that Chad had lost confidence in the AU, which it has blamed for failing to deal with the Sudan issue.

The two oil-producing nations have long traded accusations of supporting each other's rebels, who criss-cross their shared lawless border area, launching sporadic raids.

The latest in a series of deals intended to put an end to the crisis was signed last week, only for government forces on both sides of the border to clash with rebels soon after. The heaviest fighting took place in Chad, where the army said 225 rebels and 22 soldiers were killed during a rebel advance.

"With regard to the AU, Chad withdraws its confidence, entrusting instead only the UN with the job of resolving the crisis between Chad and Sudan," Deby said at a rally in N'Djamena on Wednesday.

Simmering conflict

In March, the UN took over command of a European protection force that has been operating in eastern Chad. The force is meant to protect civilians and aid workers but it has not intervened in any of the fighting.

Chad has threatened in the past to cut ties with the AU and Sudan. It accuses its neighbour of backing Chadian rebels and has chided the AU for failing to resolve the crisis.

Deby said that his country would not take part in any further meetings on Sudan, without giving further details.

Instead, he said, Chad would collaborate with the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has issued an arrest warrant for Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is accused of war crimes committed in Sudan's Darfur region.

Bashir denies the charges over Darfur, where a six year conflict has killed some 300 000 people and spilled over to fuel the simmering conflict in Chad.

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