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Chad Refuses UN Peacekeepers, Would Welcome Civilian Force

The central African nation of Chad has refused to accept a proposed U.N. peacekeeping force along its border with Sudan's war-torn Darfur region.

Chad's deputy foreign minister, Djidda Moussa Outman said Wednesday the government would only welcome a civilian force made up of police and gendarmes (armed men).

Members of the U.N. Security Council say Chad and the Central African Republic need the peacekeeping mission to protect civilians.

Violence from Darfur has spilled into both countries in the past year. The fighting has also pushed more than 220,000 refugees into Chad and some 46,000 into the CAR.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon presented options for a force in a closed-door council session on Tuesday. His proposals call for a force of between 6,000 and 11,000 troops, with the bulk of the force going into Chad.

A rebellion in Chad has also led to a steadily rising number of internally displaced people, now numbering about 120,000.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.