September 21, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan has transferred Tuesday the command of the joint force to the Chadian army six months after its deployment on 24 March.
- Chad’s President Idriss Deby (L) walks next to his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan al-Bashir (R) at Khartoum airport February 8, 2010 (Reuters)
Sudan and Chad agreed on February 5 this year to deploy some 3000 troops along the joint border to end cross-border rebel attacks from the both sides. They also agreed that Sudan will lead this joint command for the first six month and El-Geneina will be its seat.
The deployment of the joint force is seen as crucial shift in the region as Sudan and Chad stopped their support to the rebel groups from both sides.
The joint force is "a model for the standing cooperation between Khartoum and Ndjamena to secure the joint borders between them and provide security and stability for the two countries,’ said the Chadian minister of defense and former rebel Wadal Abdelkader Kamougue during the transference ceremony today.
The headquarters of the force is in Abeche in eastern Chad near the border between the two countries. Last week, the commander of the Sudanese force paid a visit to the region and inspected the areas where the troops will be deployed including Wadi Howar and Um Jaras former bases of Darfur rebels.
The head of the Sudanese force and deputy commander of the joint force Col. Fathal-Rahim Abdalla Suleiman said the force which successfully secured the border, will track armed groups in the depth of the two countries.
Major General Mohamed Mustafa commander of Division 15 of the Sudan Armed Forces in West Darfur, said the joint force will participate in the implementation of new development projects including linking the two countries by railway and asphalted road.
In accordance with the agreement signed between the two countries Chad last May barred the leader of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement from crossing through its territory to regain Darfur. In return, Sudan expelled the leaders of the Chadian rebellion who are now in Doha.
Also Sudan encouraged the Chadian rebels to return to their country and facilitated last August the depart of the members of former rebel Movement for Justice and Social Change to Ndjamena.
Chad will hold next November legislative elections and the presidential poll is scheduled for March 2011. The president Idriss Deby refuses to engage peace talks with the rebels but says they are free to come back home and take part in the elections.
The 150 members of the former rebel Movement for Justice and Social Change (MJSC) left Al-Fasher Airport flanked by the Chadian security minister Abderaman Moussa who arrived to escort them the same day.
A new plan for these forces include the tracking Almtfeltp groups and engage in the depth of the two countries
"The joint forces have contributed to securing the borders and providing security for the citizens. They have also contributed to the development projects, particularly in the field of water provision," he said.