PRESS RELEASE ON CROSS-BORDER CLASHES BETWEEN
CHAD AND THE SUDAN
April 12, 2007 (ADDIS ABABA) — The Chairperson of the African Union, Alpha Oumar Konaré, expresses great concern over the reported clashes between the Chadian National Army and Chadian rebel elements, as well as clashes between Sudanese Government and Chadian Government forces on 11 April 2007, in the Khour Baranga zone, West of the Darfur region in Sudan, which led to losses on both sides. He expresses his consternation over this incident that will only heighten the tension between the two countries, restrict access to humanitarian assistance and increase the suffering of the civilian populations living in the region. He greatly deplores these cross-border clashes, which occurred in the aftermath of incidents on Chadian territory.
The Chairperson of the Commission urges the two Governments to exercise restraint and engage once more in dialogue, in conformity with the spirit and the letter of the Tripoli Agreement, and all the other agreements they have signed. In this regard, he underscores that chief among the commitments they have taken within the framework of these Agreements, is the need to refrain from supporting or serving as a refuge to their respective armed oppositions, and the mutual respect of their sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In conclusion, the Chairperson of the Commission strongly urges the rebel groups on both sides to embark on the road to dialogue as part of the quest for solutions to their differences with their respective Governments.