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Chad, Sudan Leaders Trade Accusations

The leaders of Chad and Sudan are trading accusations of causing violence in each other's country, before a possible summit in Senegal between the two leaders. VOA's Nico Colombant reports from Dakar.

At an Economic Community of Central African States meeting in Kinshasa late Monday, Chadian President Idriss Deby blamed Sudan for rebel attacks that nearly toppled him in February.

He said mercenaries instrumentalized by Sudan had flagrantly violated Chad's territorial integrity.

The rebels who have their bases in Sudan are led by Chadians who say they want to bring better governance to Chad. Mr. Deby has been in power since his own coup in 1990.

Mr. Deby told his fellow Central African leaders there is a risk Sudan is trying to take over the entire region with what he called its own system of power and its own culture.

Tuesday, Sudan President Omar al-Bashir also cast doubt on reaching a deal with Mr. Deby at a planned summit in Dakar later this week. He accuses Mr. Deby of backing Darfurian rebels, who have their headquarters in N'Djamena.

Mr. Bashir said Sudan has five peace agreements signed with Chad. He said in 2007 he made a pilgrimage to Mecca with the Chadian leader and they pledged hand-in-hand to peace inside the Kaaba, the holiest Muslim shrine.

Quoted by the French news agency in Dubai, Sudan's president asked how it is possible that the Chadian president who failed to honor an agreement made in the Kaaba, would adhere to one signed in Dakar?

Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade has promised a new deal on the sidelines of a major Islamic conference taking place this week in Dakar. A Senegalese presidential spokesman told VOA the talks could begin as early as Wednesday.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he plans to attend the talks in Dakar. The head of the world body has said ending the violence in Darfur, as well as in nearby Chad and the Central African Republic is one of his main priorities.

The region has been awash with population movements, killings, militia, rebel and army activity. The violence has been recurrent despite the deployment of several peacekeeping forces.