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Former Chadian president expresses support for eastern rebels

Dec 26, 2005 (PARIS) — Former Chadian President Goukouni Oueddei approves the current rebellion in eastern Chad leaded by Mohamat Nour, the Radio France Internationale (RFI) reported in an interview with him.

The former President Goukouni Oueddei, who is lives in exile in Algeria, since he was overthrown in early 1980 by former president Hissene Habre and the current President Idriss Deby.

He talks about the current situation in Chad and on the fate of Hissene Habre in an interview with Cyrile Ben-Simon.

- The Chadian government is currently under serious mismanagement. Do you approve of the active rebellion in the east of the country?

Oueddei: I totally approve, because all these rebellion are aiming at the overthrowing the dictatorial leadership of Idriss Deby.

- But do you think that these rebellions which are still very much divided can succeed?

Oueddei: I’m convinced that the day when they will get a common platform to unite against Ndjamena, they will succeed.

- Do you think Idriss Deby can cope with the current desertion from his camp?

Oueddei: I don’t think so. Idriss has shown total irresponsibility by taking sides. And once again for tribal reasons he took part in a conflict that is beyond him as concerns the good of our country. [Passage omitted]

- Do you share the Chadian government’s opinion that Sudan is behind these rebellion?

Oueddei: I don’t think so, because Sudan is a country that has its own internal problems and could do not venture into creating problems in Chad. [Passage omitted]

- How do you judge France involvement in Chad?

Oueddei: If France intervenes to support the Chadian forces to avoid external aggression, I will totally agree with France and I will personally, alongside Idriss Deby, fight any external aggression. But if it is a situation created by Idriss Deby himself so that France intervenes to maintain Idriss Deby in power then there, really, I oppose such politics.

- Do you think that Chad is under the threat of turning into a Somalia?

Oueddei: From the way things are going, I believe Chad will become worse than Somalia. [Passage omitted]

- What do you think about Hissene Habre’s fate, should he be judged in Belgium, in Africa or should be left free?

Oueddei: I would personally would prefer the issue to be solved in Africa. That is African countries should create a judicial body capable of judging criminals.

- In that case, don’t you fear that one day Chadians may lodge a complaint against you?

Oueddei: I know that after Hissene, Idriss will follow, and after Idriss only God knows who will follow.

(ST)