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21 Apr 2006 17:00
African Union officials travelled to Chad on Friday to study the situation eight days after a rebel attack on the capital was repulsed.
The AU civilian and military officers will stay in Chad for a week to gather information for a report to the AU’s Peace and Security Council “for the appropriate follow-up”, according to a statement released late on Thursday.
El-Ghassim Wane, AU deputy commissioner for peace and security, refused to elaborate on the statement or provide additional details on the team’s planned activities in Chad.
A Chadian foreign affairs ministry official said that the AU team was due to meet Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmad Allam-mi later on Friday.
The April 13 rebel attack has shaken President Idriss Déby’s government. The rebel United Front for Democratic Change is regrouping in the countryside, and the threat of violent overthrow has not diminished.
The struggle for power in Chad threatened to destabilise efforts to end another civil war—this one in Sudan’s Darfur region, where some of the Chadian rebels reportedly have rear bases.
Sudan has accused Chad of harbouring Darfur rebels, while Chad has said Sudan backs Chadian insurgents and hired mercenaries to oust Déby.
To complicate matters, some in Chad have accused Déby of not doing enough to support the Darfur rebels, adding to growing disenchantment with his rule.
Déby broke diplomatic relations with Sudan a day after the attack on his capital, repeating past accusations that Chad’s neighbour had hired Sudanese mercenaries to overthrow the government.
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