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Sudan Tribune

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Sudan opposition leader warns of Chad conflict fallout

February 5, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — A Sudanese opposition figure warned Tuesday that the coup attempt in Chad by rebels allegedly backed by Khartoum could impact negatively on Sudan and its troubled Darfur region.

“If the Chadian president manages to chase away his opponents, he will seek revenge against Sudan,” which Ndjamena accuses of backing rebels seeking to overthrow President Idriss Deby, said Sadiq al-Mahdi who heads the Ummah party.

“And if the opposition gets into power, the situation in Darfur will deteriorate further,” he told the daily Assahafa, indicating that rebels of the western region would refuse to deal with a Sudan-friendly government in Chad.

Sudan and Chad both accuse the other side of backing rebels across their common border.

Mahdi called for an African investigation to determine the parties involved in the Chad conflict, saying the region “will not calm down until there is a political agreement to end its conflicts.”

The U.S. said on Monday it had warned Khartoum to stop any support it might be giving to rebels in Chad who stormed into Ndjamena Sunday in a bid to oust Deby.

The Chadian government said it quashed the rebellion.

Sudan’s secretary of state for foreign affairs, Sammani al-Wassila, reiterated his country’s denial in Tuesday’s press, slamming the U.S. accusations as ” baseless and fabricated.”

“Sudan has no interest in destabilizing Chad,” he said.

Chadian Foreign Minister Amad Allam-Mi said Sudan had masterminded the rebel offensive in a bid to install its own Sudan-friendly administration in Ndjamena and “close the window on the crisis in Darfur.”