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Chad’s Prime Minister says Libya backing rebels

February 6, 2008 (NDJAMENA) — In an expected move, Chad has accused Libya of backing rebel attempt to oust the President Idriss Deby while Tripoli was seen by many as fervent supporter of the current ruler.

Chadian Prime Minister, Delwa Kassire Coumakoye, Wednesday accused Libya of supporting the rebels who launched an assault on Ndjamena last weekend from bases inside Sudan.

Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi "helped in the arming of these people," Coumakoye said.

"They were armed by Sudan and supported by Libya." He added.

However during a press conference held with the visiting French Defence Minister Herve Morin the President Deby downplayed any differences with Libya. "Relations between Chad and Libya are excellent," he said.

Gadhafi and Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou-Nguesso have been tasked by the African Union with leading efforts aimed at resolving the crisis in Chad and Coumakoye’s remarks followed the arrival in Ndjamena on Tuesday of a Libyan delegation.

Libya also was supportive to the French government action in the Security Council to give green light for countries willing to provide support to Deby.

The prime minister said his government had "nothing to say" to the mediators, whom he described as "hypocrites."

(ST)

(Some information for this report are provided by the AFP)