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Chad, Sudan pact to end tension

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Feb 8, 2006 (TRIPOLI) — The leaders of Chad and Sudan agreed on Wednesday to end to a crisis between their two countries, which have accused each other of backing insurgents, a Libyan official said.

Idriss Deby meets with Omer el-Bashir, in Khartoum, on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 (AFP)

The Tripoli Agreement between Presidents Idriss Deby of Chad and Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan was reached at the end of mini-summit hosted by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"The two countries Chad and Sudan agreed to end media campaigns against one another and to stop using their territories to back harmful activity against one another," said a senior Libyan official who had seen the text of the accord.

Khartoum and N’Djamena pledged to work towards restoring diplomatic and consular ties, according to the official.

"The two countries also agreed to ban anti-government insurgents from setting up bases in each country and stop interfering in one another’s internal affairs," he added.

Chad has accused Sudan of supporting insurgents sworn to oust Deby and who attacked the Chadian border town of Adre in December. Chad declared a "state of belligerence" with its eastern neighbour.

Chad says the insurgents attacked Adre from Darfur and the Chadian insurgents admit to having had training camps there in the past. Tribes span both sides of the border and Deby himself seized power in a coup he launched from Darfur in 1990.

The Libyan official, who attended the gathering, quoted Bashir as saying: "We commit ourselves to implement and respect the accord."

Deby was quoted as saying: "We praise the efforts that led to this agreement and we will do the necessary efforts to normalise ties with neighbouring Sudan".

Also present at the mini-summit were the leaders of the Congo Republic, which chairs the 53-nation African Union, Burkina Faso, which heads the Sub Sahara Sahel grouping, and the Central African Republic, which borders the two countries.

Gaddafi, who has warm relations with both Bashir and Deby, pledged to help them end the crisis, urging them to avoid intervention from outside the AU.

"Libya is ready to make available to the AU 100 fighter planes, 1,000 tanks and 100,000 soldiers to help resolve the problem (betwen Chad and Sudan)," Gaddafi, quoted by a Libyan official, told the gathering.

"We want to shut the door before foreign intervention in African affairs," he added. It was not immediately clear whether such a large force would be required to help end the dispute.

(Reuters)

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