Chad and Sudan ease tensions

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The United Nations has welcomed the agreement signed between Chad and Sudan over the weekend, expressing the hope that it will ease the strain between the bordering African nations.

In a statement issued overnight by his spokeswoman Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the two Governments to work towards fully implementing the accord signed yesterday in Doha and facilitated by Qatar and Libya, the UN News Service adds.

“The Secretary-General expresses the hope that this positive development will result in a de-escalation of tensions and foster the conditions for stability in the sub-region,” the statement said.

Ban, in a separate statement issued yesterday, had voiced his concern at reports of the recent build-up and movement of armed elements on both sides of the Chad-Sudan border, and called on the two countries to ease tensions.

The UN chief had alerted the international community to the “tense and unpredictable” security situation along the border during February and March, in his most recent report on the deployment of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

Last week in a briefing to the Security Council, Rodolphe Adada, the Joint African Union-UN Special Representative for Darfur and head of UNAMID, cited the state of relations between Sudan and Chad as an important factor with regard to the ongoing conflict in Darfur.

An estimated 300 000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million have been forced from their homes in Darfur since fighting erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen.



Pic: Chadian soldiers on patrol.