December 25, 2013 (Khartoum) – Chadian president Idris Deby defended his Sudanese counterpart Omer Al-Bashir saying he is not responsible of war crimes and atrocities committed in Darfur region.
- Chad’s president Idriss Deby (R) shakes hands with his counterpart Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir at a meeting for the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) in N’Djamena, 16 February 2013 (BRAHIM ADJI/AFP/Getty Images)
Speaking in a meeting with Darfurians leaders from the Zaghawa ethnic group in Khartoum on Tuesday Deby said Darfur people are accountable of "gusts and havoc" that hit the western Sudan region during the past ten years.
"The major responsibility of destruction (in Darfur) is yours", he said in Arabic with Darfurian accent, adding "do not say that Bashir did or the (Sudanese) army did. But you Darfurians who started (the conflict) and you’re accountable of the displacement of civilians and refugees", he stressed.
The president Deby was reacting to a Darfurian leader who directed a bold criticism to the Sudanese president, Omer Hassan Al-Bahsir, and the Chadian president, Idriss Deby, in front of a large crowed and held them accountable for the deterioration of the situation in Darfur, describing them as war criminals.
The hot exchange happened during a meeting of the two presidents with the high committee for the implementation of the findings of Um Jaras forum on peace and security in Darfur.
The Sudanese and Chadian governments organised a meeting for the Zaghawa leaders in the Chadian town of Um Jaras near the Sudanese border last October where it was decided to give the tribal dignitaries three months to persuade rebel groups led by Gibril Ibrahim and Minni Minnawi to join the peace process.
In his defence for the president Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, Deby told the tribal leaders "if you say we do not want more destruction (in Darfur) these people (the rebels) will come".
Following the incident, president Bashir waved his hand to security guards who took the man out of the room amid a state of bewilderment.
Deby concluded his two-day visit to Khartoum on Tuesday after joint a press conference with president Bashir.
Bashir told reporters that he agreed with Deby to keep contacts with the rebel leaders in order to encourage them to join the peace process.
He further said the two governments reiterated their support to the efforts exerted by the joint forces deployed on the common border to contain and prevent tribal clashes.
He also said ministers from both sides will meet to discuss joint projects as the construction of a railways connecting the two countries and the use of Port Sudan on the Red See for the importations and exportation of goods for Chad.