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Chadian president congratulates Bashir on his re-election

May 1, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The Chadian President Idriss Deby sent his Sudanese counterpart Omer Hassan Al-Bashir a letter congratulating him on his victory at the presidential elections concluded last month.

Chad’s President Idriss Deby (Reuters)

Deby said in a letter published by the Chadian presidency that he "with great joy..learned of your brilliant election to the highest office of your great country, Sudan. Your election reflects the confidence of the brotherly people of Sudan in you"

"Your election will, I am persuaded, by strengthening the long-standing relations between our two countries and two peoples of Sudan and Chad. It will also bring peace to Darfur" Deby wrote.

The Sudanese president was declared a winner this week in first multi-party elections held since 1986. Bashir got 68% of the votes in elections marred by boycotts logistical issues and accusations of fraud and vote rigging.

Earlier this year Chad and Sudan ended years of tense relations and agreed to end their proxy wars and work together to rebuild their border areas a move that was seen as crucial in bolstering security and credibility before impending polls in both nations.

Chad, which has a history of flawed elections, will also hold legislative polls this year and a presidential vote in May 2011.

From 2003 rebel attacks in Darfur and also within Chad had heightened tensions between the two countries with both sides accusing the other of supporting cross-border insurgents.

In May 2008 after Darfur rebels reached the outskirts of the capital Khartoum, Sudan broke off diplomatic relations with Chad accusing Ndjamena of backing the attack.

This was followed by a surprise rebel attack on Ndjamena which came close to overthrowing the Chadian president before government forces managed to rally and rout the insurgents.

Deby had invited Bashir to visit Ndjamena despite the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant against the Sudanese leader which would hypothetically mean he could be arrested in Chad which is a member of the Hague based court.

"I keep a very personal memory of the reception you have given to my delegation and myself during my recent visit to Sudan and reassures me of your determination to work for peace and stability in the region" Deby said in his letter.

Observers and international players have said that improving Sudan-Chad relations is crucial to ending the crisis in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.

This week Chadian army clashed with rebels in eastern Chad near the borders with Chad killing scores according to both sides.

Omar Yahya, the Chadian president’s press and cultural adviser, told the Saudi owned Al-Sharq Al-Awsat" that the Sudanese Government had no connection with the attack.

The United Nations estimates 300,000 died in Darfur’s humanitarian crisis, which began after mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms in early 2003.