Home | News    Thursday 29 May 2008

Sudan reportedly seeking French neutrality to topple Chadian president

May 28, 2008 (PARIS) — The head of the Sudanese security service met with the Gabon president twice this month seeking his help to obtain the neutrality of the French government in a planed attempt to topple the Chadian president, a press report said today.

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Chad President Idriss Deby and Sudan’s President Omer al-Beshir shake hands after signing a non-aggression pact in the Senegalese capital on March 14, 2008 in Dakar. (AFP)

According to the French newspaper, Le Canard Enchaîné, Salah Abdalla ‘Gosh’ the chief of the Sudanese Intelligence and Security Services met twice with President Omer Bongo, to inform him about a plan to overthrow president Idriss Deby and to ask his mediation to obtain the French neutrality in this operation.

The French weekly said Bongo transmitted a message to his friend President Nicolas Sarkozy saying Sudan wants to topple the Chadian president Idriss Deby, "guilty of having delivered vehicles, weapons, fuel and means of transmission to a rebel movement in Darfur."

"The future war should allow him to install a new president in Chad, Mahamat Nour, a vice-president of the Zagawa ethnic group and a prime minister from southern Chad," the newspaper reported.

Following an attack by the rebel Justice and Equality Movemnt against the Sudanese government in Khartoum, Sudan accused the neighbouring Chad of supporting the rebel coup and severed its diplomatic ties with Chad.

This news comes at a time where Sudan publicly launched an insinuated accusation against the French government saying it has provided intelligence information to the Sudanese rebels.

The Chadian president who had the support of the western African chiefs has lost gradually their solidarity due to his refusal of proposed mediations with Chadian rebels and political opposition. Relations between Bongo, the wise man among central and West African leaders, are particularly deteriorated. Informed sources also say President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo Republic also started to criticise his friend Deby.

However, a Sudanese official at the presidency denied the report saying Sudan has no interest to destabilise the regional stability. He also added that Sudan’s policy is not to respond to the Chadian provocations.

In accordance with defense or military cooperation treaties with some former colonies, France has thousands of troops at four military bases in Africa, the largest at Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. The other bases are in Senegal, Gabon and Ivory Coast in West Africa. France also has troops in Chad and Central African Republic.

During a visit last February to South Africa, President Sarkozy said France will renegotiate all its defence cooperation agreements with African countries.

Sarkozy said that in the future France also wanted to pay greater attention to human rights and democracy, describing delays in free and fair elections in Ivory Coast and Chad as "unacceptable."

(ST)