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Sudan, Chad Sign Reconcilation Deal in Riyadh

The leaders of Chad and Sudan have signed an agreement aimed at reducing tension between their countries.

Chad's President Idriss Deby and President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan signed the reconciliation agreement Thursday in Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital, as King Abdullah looked on.

Sudan and Chad agreed not to give any support or refuge to rebels on the other country's territory. They also agreed to work with the African Union and United Nations to end conflict in Sudan's Darfur region and in eastern Chad.

The Chad-Sudan border region has been marked by numerous clashes involving the two countries' armies, rebel groups and militias.

In one recent incident, Sudan said 17 of its soldiers were killed during a raid by the Chadian army on a Sudanese border town.

The area is also home to hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region. U.N. relief agencies have warned repeatedly that humanitarian conditions are dire in the region.

Libya and other countries have tried with little success in the past to reduce tension between the central African neighbors. Two previous peace agreements largely failed, with Chad and Sudan accusing each other of violations.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.