Home | News    Tuesday 8 January 2008

Chad-Sudan tension can affect refugees, hinder troops deployment - envoy

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January 7, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — AU-UN joint envoy for Darfur expressed concern over the growing tension between Sudan and Chad saying it could affect the displaced, refugees in the region and the deployment of the hybrid peacekeeping force.

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Rodolphe Adada

Tensions in Sudan’s West Darfur state escalated Monday as the Sudanese army accused neighboring Chad of new border violations among reports on military build-up in the Sudanese side from the border.

In a statement issued on Monday the AU-UN joint Special Representative for Darfur (JSR) and UNAMID Head of Mission, Rodolphe Adada said "following with deep concern the escalating tension between the Sudan and Chad, a matter which could negatively affect a region that is already suffering from continued instability."

Adada said that IDPs and refugees would be the first victims of the ongoing tension between Sudan and the neighbouring Chad; where there are around 230 000 Sudanese refugees settled in 12 camps along the 700 kilometre border with the Sudan.

The army spokesperson said Sudan was ready to face any further Chadian attack or threat. "Our units in western Sudan and in west Darfur in particular are fully prepared to repulse any hostile action from Chad or from any other side," said general Osman al-Aghbash.

Adada said alarmed that this escalation between Sudan and Chad could hinder the 26000 peacekeeping troops that being deployed in the region following the take over from the African troops at the end of last year.

The joint envoy for Darfur stressed that Darfurians are placing great hopes in this hybrid operation "to help restore stability and create a climate conducive to the success of the political process aimed at finding a lasting solution to the Darfur issue."

He reminded that Darfur peace process "needs the cooperation of all countries in the region."

Already strained for years, ties between Chad and Sudan have further worsened since the clashes erupted. Recently the two countries have traded accusations of aggression and supporting each other’s rebel movements.

(ST)

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