- Title: CHAD: N'djamena remains calm after recent attack in Chad
- Date: 17th April 2006
- Summary: VARIOUS DAMAGE TO WALL (2 SHOTS)
- Embargoed: 2nd May 2006 13:00
- Location: Chad
- Country: Chad
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAC6RU58UUJP4VXJOAFOH4SLXE2
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Chad accused Sudan on Sunday (April 16) of trying to use the conflict in Darfur to destabilise the whole of central Africa and it demanded the international community intervene to prevent regional turmoil.
Three days after what Chad says was a Sudanese-backed attack on its capital, President Idriss Deby's government urged the United Nations to take control of Sudan's violence-torn Darfur region and sanction the Sudanese government.
Thursday's (April 13) dawn raid on N'Djamena by rebel fighters who crossed the desert in pick-up trucks has focused world attention on the risk that the 3-year-old political and ethnic conflict in Darfur could spread across central and west Africa.
N'Djamena was quiet on Sunday (April 16) but rebel officials told a French newspaper their forces were 25 km (15 miles) from the capital. There was no independent confirmation of this.
Deby, weakened by coup plots and desertions from his army, has said his government will stop sheltering more than 200,000 Darfur refugees unless the United Nations imposes its authority over the vast western Sudanese region by June 30.
He is standing for re-election in a May 3 presidential poll and cut diplomatic ties on Friday (April 14) with Sudan, which vehemently denies helping the rebels seeking to oust him.
Sudan's SUNA news agency quoted Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir as saying "Sudan has no interest in any instability in Chad".
He repeated Sudan's objection to the United Nations taking over an existing African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur.
Since the Darfur conflict erupted in 2003, tens of thousands of people have been killed and around 2 million displaced.
Deby has accused al-Bashir of committing "genocide" in Darfur by supporting local Arab militia against non-Arab groups who seek more autonomy from Khartoum.
These groups include the Zaghawa clan, from which Deby comes, who live in both Chad and Sudan.
Analysts say the rebel United Front for Democratic Change (FUC), a loose but fractious alliance of opponents of Deby who carried out the attack on N'Djamena, includes Chadian Arab groups who are pro-Khartoum and rivals to the Zaghawa clan.
The FUC rebels say they aim to take N'Djamena before the May 3 vote, which is being boycotted by the opposition. Deby will face four candidates linked to his government.
Deby also delivered an ultimatum on Thursday to a U.S.-led oil consortium to pay at least $100 million U.S. dollars in royalty payments frozen in a dispute with the World Bank.
If the money is not deposited in a National Treasury account by Tuesday (April 18) midday, Chad will halt some 160,000 barrels a day of oil production.
After Thursday's rebel attacks on the capital and towns in eastern Chad, Central African Republic also announced it was closing its border with Sudan.
Chadian Territorial Administration Minister General Mahamat Ali Abdallah Nassour accused Sudanese troops using heavy weapons of taking part in an attack on Thursday on the eastern town of Adre. He said the attackers were chased back into Darfur.
He said some 150 rebels were killed in Adre and around 370 in the raid on N'Djamena. FUC officials denied this, saying their forces lost only 20 in the capital.
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