CHAD BLAMES SUDAN ON ATTACK, 2 DAYS AFTER PEACE ACCORD


Chad’s government has accused Sudan of launching a military attack, two days after the neighbours signed a reconciliation agreement in Qatar.

Communications Minister Mahamat Hissene said Khartoum was behind a “planned aggression”, reported AFP new agency.

A BBC correspondent in Chad says he is referring to alleged Khartoum support for Chad rebels, a common claim. Sudan promptly denied the latest allegation.

In Doha on Sunday, Sudan and Chad agreed to end hostilities.

“While the ink has yet to dry on the Doha accord, the Khartoum regime has just launched several armoured columns against our country,” the communications minister told state radio, reported AFP.

The two countries have long been at odds amid mutual allegations of support for insurgents in each other’s territory, especially near the war-torn Darfur region along their common border.

Sudanese army spokesman Osman al-Agbash promptly rejected Tuesday’s claim, telling AFP: “What is happening now inside Chad is between the Chadian army and the Chadian rebels. Sudan has no relation with this.”

The BBC’s Celeste Hicks in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, says there has been rebel movement in recent days in the east of Chad, but it is not clear if the insurgents have gone on the offensive.

She says the last time Chad’s rebels launched a significant attack was on the eastern town of Goz Beida in June last year.

Chad has on a number of occasions since then accused Sudan of egging on the rebels, she says.

In May 2008, Khartoum accused N’Djamena of backing Darfur-based insurgents who launched an unprecedented attack on the Sudanese capital.

Chad denied any involvement and in turn accused Sudan of having backed a push by rebels on N’Djamena three months earlier that reached the gates of the presidential palace before being repulsed.

Solving the dispute between the two countries is seen as a key step in solving the crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Many Darfur rebels are from the same ethnic group as President Idriss Deby, and ever since their uprising began, he has been accused of offering them support.

Although Khartoum has repeatedly denied backing the rebels, analysts note the insurgents have operated out of Sudanese territory for several years.

Sunday’s talks were brokered by Qatar and Libya, which have been leading reconciliation efforts between Chad and Sudan after they renewed diplomatic relations in November after a six-month rift.

N’Djamena and Khartoum also shunned each other diplomatically for four months in 2006 after an attack by rebels on Chad.

SOURCED FROM BBC

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