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Chadian rebel group flies back home from Darfur

August 31, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — A second batch of fighters from a Chadian opposition group returned today to Ndjamena on Monday from the capital of North Darfur state marking the improvement of bilateral relations between the neighboring countries and the end of proxy war.

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Chadian rebels, former soldiers who have deserted, stand in a small camp on the Sudan-Chad border 10 Feb 2006 (AFP)

The 150 members of the former rebel Movement for Justice and Social Change (MJSC) left Al-Fasher Airport flanked by the Chadian security minister Abderaman Moussa who arrived to escort them the same day.

The rebel group was seen off at the airport by North Darfur governor, Osman Mohamed Youssef Kibir and a number of state government officials.

President Omer Al-Bashir, last July during a visit to Ndjamena, said Chadian rebel groups would not be allowed to operate from inside Sudan. He said that practical steps had been taken to enforce this. Rebel groups were informed that Chadian president Idris Deby welcomed their return to the country.

Before his first trip to Chad, the Sudanese authorities on July 21, expelled Chadian rebel leaders, including Timan Erdimi, Mahamat Nouri and Adouma Hassaballa, to Qatar.

Following a surprise visit by President Idriss Deby to Khartoum in February, the two countries agreed to end their proxy war and to work together for peace and stability in both countries. In May Chad barred Khalil Ibrahim the leader of Darfur rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) from returning to Darfur through Chad, where he had been based.

In statements to SUNA, Sudan’s official news agency, Governor Kibir hailed the return of the Chadian rebels saying it reflects the will of the two countries to implement the deals they agreed.

He reiterated the commitment of the Sudanese government to strengthen bilateral relations particularly in the areas of security and stability. He added that a joint committee from the two countries would follow up the issue of the remaining Chadian opposition groups.

On his visit to Khartoum in February President Deby, who refuses to negotiate a political agreement with the Chadian rebels, called on them to participate in legislative elections to be held in November and attempt win power through the ballot box.

(ST)