Home | News    Friday 21 April 2006

AU observers to monitor Sudan-Chad border

April 20, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — African Union (AU) security experts have arrived in Sudan’s troubled Darfur to monitor the border with Chad after N’Djamena accused Khartoum of supporting Chadian rebels.

According to the state-run SUNA news, they will be deployed along the border in line with a February agreement aimed at easing tensions on the frontier and dispelling mutual accusations that the two countries were supporting each other’s rebels, it said.

The February 8 agreement signed by Chadian and Sudanese leaders in Tripoli came after N’Djamena declared itself in a state of war with Khartoum in December amid growing violence on the border.

Under the deal, the AU agreed to deploy observers along the border, and according to SUNA, they include members from Libya, Congo, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, as well as Sudan.

"The committee’s mission will be to monitor and register any violations by the two parties in a completely impartial manner," said the head of the Sudanese team on the committee, Oun Ahmed Oun.

He added that the observers were to set up posts along the border towns of Tina, Kulbus, Gineina, Khur Bernagah and Wadi Sair, saying Libya, which has been a mediator in the conflict, had agreed to foot the bill for the operation.

Sudan blamed Chad this week for continued insecurity in the area, saying its "failure to send representatives to a security committee charged with monitoring the border was obstructing implementation of the deal."

Libyan Minister of African Affairs Ali al-Triki held talks with leaders in Khartoum on Monday in a bid to ease tensions with Chad, which broke off diplomatic ties with Sudan on Friday, a day after a rebel attack on N’Djamena.

Chad accused Sudan of supporting the assault on N’Djamena, but Khartoum denied any involvement in the coup attempt.

An AU force already operates in Darfur, monitoring a shaky ceasefire between Khartoum and ethnic minority rebels, but international pressure has been mounting for it to be replaced by a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

(ST)