Home | News    Thursday 10 August 2006

Chad, Sudan reopen borders, resume diplomatic relations

Aug 9, 2006 (N’DJAMENA) — Chad and Sudan have reopened their borders and resumed diplomatic relations they severed four months ago, Chad’s government spokesman has said.

Late Tuesday, President Idriss Deby and his Sudanese counterpart, Omar al-Bashir, made the decision to immediately re-establish all ties that had been severed, said Hourmadji Moussa Doumgor, the government spokesman. The leaders had met on the sidelines of Deby’s inauguration for a third term in office.

Chad has accused Sudan of involvement in a rebellion in eastern Chad. Sudan has in turn accused Chad of harboring Sudanese rebels fighting in its Darfur region, which borders Chad. Observers have long feared the war in Darfur could destabilize the entire region.

Doumgor said Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi suggested the two leaders hold a "mini-summit" that included Gabon’s President Omar Bongo and Republic of Congo’s Denis Sassou Nguesso, all of whom were in Chad for Deby’s inauguration.

The Arab League welcomed Chad and Sudan’s decision to resume diplomatic relations, saying in a statement Wednesday it would "help to restore security and stability in this important region."

The two countries’ foreign affairs ministers will meet soon to work out the details of the rapprochement, Doumgor said late Tuesday.

Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade had also mediated in the Chad-Sudan conflict, flying over the weekend to Sudan and attending Deby’s inauguration. On Wednesday, Wade’s office in Dakar said a meeting Wade had tried to arrange in his capital between Deby and al-Bashir had been indefinitely postponed.