Sudan, Chad, CAR agree not to support rebels

16th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

CANNES, France, Feb 15, 2007 (AFP) - Heads of state from volatile neighbours Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic agreed on Thursday not to "support any rebellion" in each other's countries, Sudan's foreign minister said.

CANNES, France, Feb 15, 2007 (AFP) - Heads of state from volatile neighbours Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic agreed on Thursday not to "support any rebellion" in each other's countries, Sudan's foreign minister said.

 "There is a commitment in this agreement that each country will respect the sovereignty of the other countries and no country will support any rebellion within its territory," Sudanese Foreign Minister Lam Akol told reporters on the sidelines of a France-Africa summit.

Relations between Sudan and its two central African neighbours have deteriorated since fighting in Sudan's western Darfur region that started in 2003 spilled over into eastern Chad and northeastern Central African Republic (CAR).

The agreement was signed by the three and six other heads of state at the summit, which lasts until Friday, a presidential spokesman from host country France said at the summit.

"A text is being finalised by the ministers and we hope that this text will see daylight during this conference," said the spokesman, Jerome Bonnafont.

Bonnafont said that the three countries had agreed on three principles, namely respecting the sovereignty of each other's countries; increased cooperation between the three states, and working with the United Nations and the African Union.

Rebels in northern Chad have been fighting to topple President Idriss Deby Itno, while in CAR, a loose coalition of rebels has been fighting since October to oust President General Francois Bozize.

Chad and the CAR have jointly accused Sudan of backing the rebels in their countries, but Khartoum has denied the accusations and instead accused the two nations of supporting rebels in Sudan's western region of Darfur.

France has provided support to both Chad and CAR in tackling the rebel attacks.

In Darfur, at least 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced by nearly four years of fighting between ethnic African rebels and Janjaweed militia allied to the Arab-led government in Khartoum.

Thursday's mini-summit brought together Sudanese President Omar el-Beshir, Chad's Deby and the CAR's Bozize.

Also present were Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Ghanaian President John Kufuor, African Union chairman.

The UN last month sent a mission to Chad and the CAR to assess prospects for deploying a robust UN force to protect civilians caught in the spillover from the Darfur conflict.

It is considering deploying a protection force in Chad and CAR that would shield displaced people and try to deter cross-border raids by insurgent forces.

Andrew Natsios, Washington's special envoy to Darfur, said last month that a "quiet war" was underway between Chad and Sudan, fuelled by instability in Darfur.

Natsios said during a recent visit that he had asked Beshir "to stop supporting Chadian rebels that are destabilizing Chad and I asked the Chadian government to stop supporting rebels in Darfur."

Global human rights group Amnesty International earlier this month said its research on the ground showed that the Darfur conflict had become "deeply entrenched" in eastern Chad, with Janjaweed carrying out attacks on civilians there.

The France-Africa summit is taking place in Cannes, on the south coast of France, from Wednesday to Friday.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article