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Chad’s foreign minister says Darfur meeting "useless"


Feb 15, 2007 (CANNES, France) — Chad’s foreign minister accused Sudan of attacking his country and said talks expected on Thursday between the two neighbours and Central African Republic would be "useless".

French Jacques Chirac welcomes Sudanese cOmar al-Bashir at the opening of the 24th Africa-France summit, Thursday Feb.15, 2007 in Cannes, southern France. (AP)

Violence in Sudan’s western region of Darfur has spilled over into neighbouring Chad and Central African Republic, both of which blame Khartoum for the attacks.

A source close to French President Jacques Chirac said the three countries’ presidents were likely to meet at a French-African summit in the French seaside resort of Cannes.

"This same meeting is useless because it is aimed at distracting international public opinion and moving it away from the real problem, which is that Sudan is attacking Chad," said Chad’s Foreign Minister Ahmat Allam-Mi.

"We are not in Cannes to entertain the crowd."

Experts estimate 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million driven from their homes, many of them into Chad, in the four-year-old conflict in Sudan’s vast western Darfur region.

Sudan accuses Chad of backing Darfur rebels, while Chad says Sudan is backing Chadian rebels trying to overthrow President Idriss Deby and giving them sanctuary in Darfur.

Chadian rebels have launched frequent raids into the east of the country as part of a hit-and-run strategy aimed at trying to wear down Deby’s army and end his 17-year rule in the landlocked central African oil producer.


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