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Islamic Organization Concerned Over Chad-Sudan Tension

An international Islamic organization has called on Chad and Sudan to exercise restraint and try to defuse their growing tension.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference issued the appeal late Sunday, two days after Chad declared what it called a "state of belligerence" with Sudan.

In a statement, the OIC secretary-general, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, asked the two member states to resolve their conflict through "positive dialogue and negotiation."

Tensions rose last week after Chadian forces clashed with rebels who Chad says are backed by the Sudanese government. Chad described Sudan as an "enemy," and called on the Chadian people to mobilize against what it called Sudanese aggression.

Sudan denies any connection with the Chadian rebels, many of whom are deserters from Chad's army opposed to President Idriss Deby.