Home | News    Saturday 18 November 2006

Chad to send troops to CAR to fight Sudanese-backed rebels

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Nov 17, 2006 (N’DJAMENA) — Chad is proposing to send troops to its southern neighbour Central African Republic to help it fight off an invasion of Sudanese-backed rebels, the government said.

Prime Minister Pascal Yoadimnadji, in a speech to parliament cited by the government Website on Friday, also called for the "general mobilisation" of Chad’s people against what he called "a generalised war imposed by the Sudanese government".

His announcement appeared to signal a wider escalation of the three-year-old conflict in Sudan’s western Darfur region which has increasingly been spilling over the border into Chad and Central African Republic.

Yoadimnadji told Chad’s National Assembly that rebels he described as "mercenaries in the pay of Sudan" had occupied several towns in northeast Central African Republic and were advancing west and south.

He said Chad’s government proposed sending troops — whose number he did not specify — to help its southern neighbour under a regional defence pact.

"A popular saying goes that if your neighbour’s house is on fire, you go to help him, or you risk the fire spreading to your house," Yoadimnadji said.

He added Chad had also suffered repeated incursions by "Sudanese soldiers" over its eastern border, triggering ethnic violence in Chadian communities which had killed more than 300 people in recent weeks.

"We are witnessing a generalised war imposed by the Sudanese government," Yoadimnadji said.

"This is why we are calling for a general mobilisation of the Chadian people," he added.

Sudan’s government has repeatedly denied that it is backing rebels in Chad and Central African Republic.

(Reuters)

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