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Chad accuses Sudan militia of deadly border raids

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April 2, 2007 (N’DJAMENA) — Chad on Monday accused Sudanese-backed Janjaweed militia of killing 29 civilians in attacks on two villages in the east of the country over the weekend.

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People gathered during a meeting with members of the Security Council at the Gouroukoun camp for IDP’s, in Goz Beida, Chad, June 10, 2006 (Reuters).

It was just the latest in a series of attacks that Chad has blamed on the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed, who are held responsible by the international community for massacres in the western Sudanese region of Darfur.

"The attackers burned the two places (Tiero and Morina) to the ground and killed 29 civilians," said Chadian Communications Minister Hourmadji Moussa Doumgor in a statement.

The attackers were pushed by the Chadian security forces, who killed 25 of them, a government spokesman added. But between 6,000 and 8,000 people had been let with nothing and were left homeless without any possessions.

"The attackers, who came on the back of camels, were equipped with heavy weapons," said a Chadian official who asked to remain anonymous. The fighting in the area had been fierce, he added.

The Janjaweed, a militia supplied by the Sudanese government has been accused of carrying out what the United States government has described as genocide inside the Darfur, just over the border with Chad.

Aid workers in the region said that more than 70 wounded people had arrived Sunday at two hospital at Koukou et Goz Beida, in the southeast border region with Sudan.

"Chad wants peace on its borders but it will assume its duty of protecting its citizens by all appropriate means if Sudan does not do its part to end the militia attacks against Chadian populations in the border regions," said a government statement.

But in December, Amnesty International accused the government of Chad of failing to act as Janjaweed militia stepped up their raids on civilians.

The rights group said it had "irrefutable proof" that the conflict in Darfur, the troubled western region of Sudan, had become "deeply entrenched" in neighbouring eastern Chad.

Last month the government of Chad accused Sudanese fighter planes of bombarding towns in its eastern regions of Tine and Bahai.

Chad and Sudan accuse each other of supporting rebel movements.

Some 230,000 refugees from Darfur have in the past four years taken shelter in camps in eastern Chad, which has seen renewed rebel insurgency and ethnic strife since late October 2006.

(AFP)

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