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Chad expels rebel leader after occupation of Sudanese embassy

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April 20, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — The Chadian authorities expelled the chairman of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Khalil Ibrahim, and his group after the occupation of the Sudanese embassy by the JEM.

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Khalil Ibrahim

The Darfur rebel group occupied the Sudanese embassy in the Chadian capital, N’djamena, for some hours and looted the properties of the embassy.

The chairman of west and central Africa department at the ruling National Congress, Hassan Bargo, returned back Wednesday 19 April from N’djamena and whose presence there coincided with the attack launched last Thursday against N’djamena by the rebel forces.

Bargo, who is Zagawa bedeiyat, has been always the man of difficult missions with Chadian president Idriss Deby. Unconfirmed reports say he is very close to the Sudanese security chief Salah Gosh.

Bargo described in a press statement the stand of the Sudanese government towards the Chadian escalation as balanced and wise, saying it helped in cooling down the anger that rose after the attack of the Chadian opposition against the capital.

He said that the expulsion of the leader of JEM and the measures which were taken by the Chadian authorities for the safety of the Sudanese community there represent positive signals that the two countries could surpass the current crisis.

Khalil Ibrahim and Idriss Deby had always conflicting relations in the past. Nonetheless, after the deterioration of bilateral relations between Chad and Sudan they worked together to contain the Sudanese move against them.

Khalil Ibrahim has political asylum in France, but it seems he went to Libya after his forced departure from Chad.

Deby was angry from Ibrahim because this occupation came at a time where he tries to convince the international community that he is a victim of the Sudanese government. And he does not back Darfur rebels.

(ST)

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