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Sudan and Chad presidents to meet in Dakar on Wednesday


Aug 4, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — The presidents of Sudan and Chad will meet in Senegal’s capital Dakar on Wednesday in a bid to defuse tension on their common border, Senegal’s president said on Friday.

President Abdoulaye Wade arrived in Khartoum on Friday to start a five-day visit to Sudan and Chad and mediate in the Sudanese war in Darfur.

He will attend Idriss Deby’s swearing-in as president on Tuesday in the Chad capital N’Djamena.

"I have been invited at the insistence of President Deby who wishes that negotiations (with Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir) will be held in Dakar," Wade told reporters.

"It was accepted by the Sudanese president. The two presidents will be in Dakar on Aug. 9."

Deby, who faces an armed uprising in the east of his country near the border with Sudan’s Darfur, cut diplomatic ties with Khartoum in April after rebels launched an attack on N’Djamena from the east.

Deby and his predecessor Hissene Habre rose to power through military coups launched from Darfur and eastern Chad, where many tribes span both sides of the border.

Deby says Chadian rebels operate with support from the Sudanese and have their bases on the Sudanese side of the long and porous border. Khartoum denies supporting the rebels.

The African Union has expressed great concern at the deteriorating relations between the two neighbours, which has deepened the Darfur conflict, one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.


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