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Chad president accuses Sudan of destabilisation plot

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Dec 22, 2005 (NDJAMENA) — Chadian President Idriss Deby on Thursday accused his Sudanese counterpart of plotting to destabilise his country, blaming Khartoum for a rebel attack on the frontier town of Adre.

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President Idriss Deby

National radio broadcast the comments by the president made during a visit to the town to decorate troops who killed about 100 rebels repelling the attack on Sunday by Rally for Democracy and Liberty forces.

"The attack against the locality of Adre was not the doing of presumed rebels but was direct aggression by Sudanese Defence Minister Mahamat Abderrahim, who is close to el Bechir," Deby said referring to Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed el Bechir.

"The attack at Adre, perpetrated by the Khartoum regime, is to destabilise our country, to drive our people into misery, to create disorder and export the war from Darfur to Chad. That’s the plan that President el Bechir nourishes," he said.

With his opposite number in line to take over as chairman of the Pan-African body the African Union next month, Deby said he did not merit the post.

"President el Bechir doesn’t deserve to be the president of the African Union, he doens’t deserve to hold the African Union summit in January," he said.

And confronted by a wave of desertions from his army in past weeks and defections by several politicians in apparent feuding within his Zaghawa ethnic group, Deby issued an ultimatum to "Chadians used against Chad".

On December 10 a group of army officers said they were forming an army in the east to fight Deby, 53, a one-time rebel leader who seized power in 1990 and was later elected in multi-party polls.

"If a week from now they don’t return to the country they will be considered as mercenaries and treated as such," he warned.

The two countries have traded accusations in recent weeks of supporting rebel movements hostile to each other’s regimes.

After the Adre assault, Ndjamena said it pursued the rebels five kilometres (three miles) into Sudanese territory before withdrawing.

About 200,000 Sudanese refugees have fled to eastern Chad to escape the civil war that has torn apart Sudan’s Darfur region.

(AFP/ST)

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