Accessibility links

Chad Says Military Offensive Against Rebels Inside Sudan Completed


Chad says it has completed a ground and air assault against rebels based in neighboring Sudan, but the Khartoum government calls the bombing raids an act of war.

Chad's ground assault into Sudan captured 100 rebel prisoners and its aerial bombardment of rebel bases across the border destroyed seven groups of fighters, according to the government.

Interim Defense Minister Adoum Younousmi told reporters in Ndjamena the offensive is now complete and all Chadian forces have withdrawn from Sudan.

He said Chad's ground assault reached as far as 40 kilometers inside Sudan and was carried out without injury to local civilians or Sudanese government forces.

Sudan says Chad's offensive is an "act of war" and it is considering how to respond.

Younousmi says Chad does not need authorization to attack rebels inside Sudan as it is an existing right that Chad will exercise "at any time and in any place" by land, sea, or air.

Chadian President Idriss Deby is again threatening to sever diplomatic relations with Sudan after fighting earlier this month around the eastern city of Abeche, which he blames on Khartoum for backing the rebel Union of Resistance Forces.

Sudan denies the charge and says Chad is supporting the Sudanese rebel Justice and Equality Movement along the country's northwest border.

The U.N. Security Council has condemned the rebel attacks in eastern Chad and, without mentioning Sudan by name, has expressed its concern over what it calls "the external support received by Chadian armed groups."

Chad and Sudan have long accused each other of backing rival rebellions.

They broke diplomatic relations for a few months last year. The two countries signed an agreement in Doha last month agreeing to normalize relations and reject support for rebels.

Chadian rebels have been trying to overthrow President Deby for more than three years and briefly reached the capital 15 months ago. Part of the conflict centers on how best to approach the conflict in Sudan's neighboring Darfur region. More than 300,000 refugees from Darfur live in camps in eastern Chad.

A U.N. military force for Chad is at about 40 percent of its troop strength of more than 5,000. The human-rights group Amnesty International wants donors to step-up their assistance for that force as it says the promise of security for the people of Chad and Darfur remains an illusion.


XS
SM
MD
LG