Home | News    Sunday 25 November 2007

Chad rejects rebel claims as peace deadline looms


November 24, 2007 (NDJAMENA) — Chad’s government said it was "unpleasantly surprised" Saturday at accusations by the country’s two biggest rebel groups that Ndjamena was failing to implement a peace accord — which runs out Sunday.

On Friday the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development (UFDD) and the Rally of Forces for Change (RFC) accused the Chad government of failing to send a delegation to Sudan for further negotiations on the peace deal.

"A Chadian delegation is ready and willing to go to Khartoum as soon as proposals are published to discuss the confinement and disarmament" of signatories, the government said in a statement.

A month-long ceasefire agreed in October in the Libyan seaside city Sirte is due to expire on Sunday.

"We are unpleasantly surprised by the comments of Mahamat Nouri (president of the UFDD) and Timan Erdimi (head of the RFC) accusing us of not having sent a delegation to follow up the accord," the text said.

The Ndjamena government insisted it was "ready on our part to implement the accord."

"I think that Ndjamena forgot about the accord," Nouri told AFP in a telephone interview on Friday.

"We were to meet them in Khartoum in order to study the practical aspects and how to apply them, but the Chadian government did not send their delegation," said Nouri, one of the signatories of the deal sealed last month.

The four primary rebel movements from eastern Chad, including the UFDD, RFC, CNT (Chadian National Concord) and UFDD-F (UFDD-Fundamental) initialled the deal in Tripoli on October 3.

A formal peace accord was signed in Sirte on October 26 by all four groups and Chadian President Idriss Deby, in the presence of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir.

The terms of the one-month agreement included a ceasefire, the rebels joining Deby’s government, the release of prisoners and "total respect for the Chadian constitution."

No further move has been made by the government, according to Nouri, who did not exclude a resumption of hostilities after Sunday.


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