Sudan says it is ready to repel any attack on its territory. The comment, yesterday, comes a day after rebels from the Justice and Equality Movement, which Khartoum accuses Chad of supporting, were involved in a clash in Darfur.
Reuters adds Chad said it had halted an attempted rebel advance on its capital last week following fierce fighting in the east. N’Djamena has accused Sudan of igniting the clashes by sending armed groups over the border.
Khartoum denies these charges and has in turn, accused Chad of supporting JEM rebels, which attacked the Sudanese capital on May 11 last year.
Sudan has accused Chadian President Idriss Deby of involvement in that attack.
“National Defence Minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein has affirmed the readiness of the armed forces to repel any aggression on Sudanese lands, pointing to the movements of JEM on the north western border with support from the Chadian government,” the Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) reported.
Hussein made those statements in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, SUNA said.
On Saturday JEM rebels clashed in North Darfur with forces loyal to former rebel Minni Arcua Minnawi, the only Darfur rebel to sign a peace deal with the government in 2006.
UNAMID spokesman Noureddine Mezni said another brief battle took place yesterday.
Minnawi leads a faction of the Sudan Liberation Army and became a presidential assistant after the 2006 peace agreement.
The fighting in Chad, in which N’Djamena said 225 rebels and 22 government soldiers were killed, threatens a peace deal Chad and Sudan signed in Doha only last week in which they agreed to normalise relations and reject support for rebels hostile to either of them.
The two countries resumed fragile diplomatic relations last November after cutting them in May.
Chad threatens to cut ties
Meanwhile, Reuters adds Chad may cut ties with its neighbour Sudan and the African Union after the organisation failed to solve the long-running dispute between the two oil-producing countries.
The African Union said on Friday that states would respect the principles of “non-interference and good neighbourliness” while the UN Security Council has condemned what it described as military incursions “coming from outside” Chad.
“The Chadian government should evaluate, together with friendly countries, our relations with the African Union seeing its inability to find suitable solutions to crisis between Chad and Sudan,” President Idriss Deby said on Saturday.
“Chad should consider withdrawing its confidence in the African Union and pass the resolution of the crisis to the United Nations alone,” he said.
Pic: Sudanese president Omar Hassan al Bashir