Home | News    Wednesday 15 November 2006

AU chief supports U.N. forces for Chad, CAR borders

Nov 14, 2006 (PARIS) — The chairman of the African Union said on Tuesday U.N. forces should protect the borders of Chad and Central African Republic, countries into which violence has spilled from neighbouring Sudan’s Darfur region.

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Denis Sassou Nguesso

Denis Sassou Nguesso, also president of Congo Republic, cautioned that the Darfur conflict risked having a serious impact on other African states.

"We agree with the idea of sending U.N. troops to ensure security on the borders of Chad and Central African Republic," Sassou told reporters in Paris after meeting French President Jacques Chirac.

"We think the situation in Darfur can have serious consequences for the balance in central Africa and we are making arrangements so that central Africa continues to be a zone of peace and stability," he said.

Both Chad and Central African Republic have called for the deployment of international peacekeepers to secure their borders. But Sudan’s government refuses to permit a robust U.N. peacekeeping force to relieve an over-stretched African Union contingent in Darfur.

Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed in political and ethnic conflict in the region since 2003.

Violence from Darfur has spilled across the border to Central African Republic and Chad, which on Monday declared a state of emergency across large swathes of the country.

Nguesso said the situation in the region was serious.

"The African Union will stay on the ground and we continue talks with Khartoum authorities and the United Nations to find a compromise which allows us to reinforce the presence in Darfur so that we don’t let this catastrophe develop," he said.

(Reuters)