Home | News    Tuesday 12 May 2009

Chad blasts Libya’s support to Sudan in UN meeting

May 11, 2009 (PARIS) — The Chadian President Idriss Deby blasted Libya for its opposition last Friday to a UN Security Council condemnation of the Sudan-backed incursion of the Chadian armed opposition begun May 5.

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Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi speaks after the signing of a peace accord between Chadian President Idriss Deby (L) and leaders of Chad’s four main rebel in Sirte, in October 2007

The Security Council issued a presidential statement on May 8, condemning the military incursion by Chadian rebels "coming from outside" the country, an indirect reference to their bases in western Sudan. The Council also said any attempt to destabilize the Chadian government was unacceptable.

The Chadian ambassador at the UN had requested the meeting and accused Sudan of perpetrating the attack saying it threatens peace and security in the sub-region and in Chad itself.

Speaking in a meeting held with political parties on May 9, President Idriss Deby lashed out at the Libyan ambassador to the UN for rejecting any move to mention or to condemn Sudan as had been requested by Chad.

"Unfriendly behavior of the representatives of Libya and China at the meeting of the Security Council on 7 May 2009 in New York requires an appropriate response from Chad," Deby told the meeting.

He further said the foreign ministry would summon the ambassadors of Libya and China to protest against their support to Khartoum. He further stressed that his government would send envoys to "friendly countries" to explain its position, "particularly in Senegal, France, and the United States of America."

Till recently Deby considered Tripoli as a close ally. Libya provided the Chadian with the necessary ammunitions and weapons to repel a rebel attack in February 2008. Also Gadhafi supplied important military equipments to Deby to consolidate his army.

However, Libyan officials were later angered by the transfer of the Libyan weapons to the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebels who used them in their attack on the Sudanese capital in May 2008.

Deby also criticized the inability of the African Union, which the Libyan leader chairs for a year, to make any progress in resolving troubles between Sudan and Chad.

"Chad should consider withdrawing its confidence in the African Union and give the resolution of the crisis only to the United Nations," he further said.

Chad says 226 rebels and 22 soldiers were killed in two days of clashes on Thursday and Friday south of the main eastern city of Abeche. Further, Ndjamena claimed to have captured 212 prisoners, some of whom were shown Sunday on state television.

The Chadian president on Monday paid a visit to his troops in Goz-Beïda, about 100 kilometres from the border. He called on the army to pursue the rebels and deal with them because Sudan had prevented them from crossing the border.

"Sudan even refused to allow their wounded to have access to medical care. They have no more strength, you must find and dislodge them,” he said.

"I do not want to hear talking about a mercenary in Chad," he added, urging his forces to expel their enemy entirely from the country.