May 19, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese army reacted strongly to statements by Chadian officials in which they said that they preparing for an offensive inside Sudan to pursue rebel groups seeking to oust president Idriss Deby.
This week the acting Chadian defense minister Adoum Younousmi said that his army will “pass across the border to deal with these pockets of mercenaries”.
“We have asked our troops to deploy and those units which are due to intervene are in the process of gathering around these sites … The Chadian government will use its right of pursuit” Younousmi added.
The Sudanese army issued a response late Tuesday pledging to “crush” any Chadian forces crossing into its borders.
“Sudan listened to statements issued by Chadian defense minister in which he spoke about Chadian rebel groupings inside Sudanese soil with the aim of repeating the venture and attacking Chad” the statement shown on Sudan official news agency (SUNA) read.
“Based on these illusions the Chadian defense minister threatened to enter Sudanese territory. In response to this the Sudanese defense ministry announces that it will not allow the violation of Sudanese territory and will crush any force trying to infiltrate Sudanese borders”.
Both oil producing nations have for years traded accusations of supporting rebel groups and providing them with bases to launch attacks.
Several regional efforts have helped broker reconciliation agreements as recent as this month in the Arab Gulf state of Qatar that have collapsed following rebel attacks from each side.
Last week Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said they overran the town of Kornoy in North Darfur after forcing out two Sudanese army brigades.
Sudan accused Chad of backing the latest rebel offensive and vowed a response but has since appeared to back down from the threat.
On Monday the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon expressed concern about the tensions between Sudan and Chad and called on all parties to cease hostilities.
The dispute between both countries is largely seen as a spillover from the six year conflict in Sudan’s western region of Darfur that displaced millions across the borders.