Deby wants 'definitive solution'

2009-05-30 14:28

Sabratha - Chad's President Idriss Deby Itno wants a "definitive solution" to his country's conflict with Sudan, he said in Sabratha west of the Libyan capital Tripoli.

Speaking after attending a regional summit, Deby said: "We are leaving with a note of hope that the two neighbouring countries, brothers and friends, will manage in days or months to come to reach a definitive solution to this crisis.

He hoped this would happen "under the auspices of the guiding brother (Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi), the United Nations and other friendly countries".

Deby told AFP late on Friday he wants Sudan's troubled region of Darfur to "regain its peacefulness" and said he believes Chad is "the country most disadvantaged" by the fighting in the western province.

"We use our right to defend ourselves," Deby said, referring to air raids against Chadian rebels based on Sudanese territory, which have sparked protests from Khartoum.

"But at the same time we are men of peace and we are seeking peace with all our neighbours, in particular with Sudan," he added.

On May 4 Chadian insurgents coming from Sudan launched an offensive against N'Djamena but Chad's army forced them back to west Sudan, where they are based.

"Rebels, there aren't any," Deby said. "They are mercenaries who came to attack us and we completely defeated them.

"Nothing remains (of the rebels). Those who fled went back to Sudan. They are being held by the Sudanese authorities," he said.

Chad's president spoke after the first day of a meeting of the 28-member Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) in Sabratha, a UNESCO World Heritage site west of Tripoli

The feuding between Sudan and Chad, which accuse each other of supporting the other country's rebels, was on the agenda of the summit, which wraps up on Saturday.

Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir attended the summit on Friday despite the international arrest warrant against him for alleged war crimes. However, he left after the opening ceremony without making a speech or talking to the press.