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Chad and Sudan to sign reconciliation agreement in Dakar

March 5, 2008 (DAKAR) — Chadian and Sudanese presidents will sign an agreement to end their long-running conflict in Dakar next week, the AFP reported on Thursday.

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Sudan’s al-Bashir and Chad’s Deby in Riyadh after the signing of a reconcilitaion agreement on May 3, 2007

Relations between Sudan and Chad since more than three years remain very shaky. The two countries trade accusation of supporting their respective rebel groups. The two neighbours signed two reconciliation agreements brokered by Libya and Saudi Arabia but they failed to implement it.

"The heads of state of Sudan and Chad, Omer al-Bashir and Idriss Deby, will definitely sign on March 12, 2008, ahead of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference summit in Dakar, an agreement to finally settle their conflict of nearly two decades," said a source linked to the Senegalese presidency.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the current head of the African Union, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, would be present.

Al-Bashir and Deby are expected to ink two separated agreements. A general peace accord would be signed along with a separate agreement on its implementation.

Envoys of Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade had been conducting shuttle diplomacy between Ndjamena and Khartoum, in order to finalize the agreements.

Last week President Wade said that Deby had asked him to intervene.

He further said he had been backed by Libya and Egypt in the latest peace efforts. On Sunday, he said that he would host the Chadian and Sudanese leaders before the OIC summit as part of his mediation.

Wade also said that previous peace accords had not worked because there had been no specific agreement on how they should be out into effect.

(ST)