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The Republic of Congo pledged Thursday to back Chadian efforts to
restore peace in Sudan's Darfur region, to prevent the 15-month war
destabilising the central African subregion, a statement issued
during a visit by Chadian President Idriss Deby said.
"Given the serious consequences of this crisis on the stability of
the central African subregion, the two heads of state have
recommended that the Economic Community of Central African States
(Ceeac) be represented on a follow-up committee" set up last month
at talks mediated by Chad in Ndjamena.
At those talks, Chadian mediators also got the Khartoum government
and its Arab militia allies, and two rebel groups in Darfur to
agree to a ceasefire, but it has reportedly been violated on
Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso is the current head of
Three central African states – Chad, the Central African
Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo – border on Sudan,
Africa's largest country.
Deby and Sassou Nguesso also "reaffirm their commitment to the
ideals of peace and reiterate their support for the peace processes
under way in Burundi, the Central African Republic and Democratic
Republic of Congo," the statement said.
The two leaders stressed "the importance of conflict prevention to
reinforce peace and stability in Africa" and repeated the need for
a pan-African non-aggression pact, which Sassou Nguesso has
proposed to the African Union (AU).
African Union military and security experts are due to meet in
Brazzaville next week to study the proposal before it is put to
heads of state and government for ratification at an upcoming AU
summit at the pan-African grouping's headquarters in the Ethiopian
capital, Addis Ababa.
Deby left Brazzaville for Gabon at around midday Thursday, where he
was due to hold talks with President Omar Bongo, the current Ceeac
The Chadian leader was expected to return later Thursday to
Ndjamena, where unnamed diplomats have told AFP that Chad has
called in the Sudanese ambassador to lodge a formal complaint over
alleged cross-border attacks by Khartoum's Janjawid militia allies
The war in Darfur is estimated by the United Nations to have
claimed at least 10 000 lives, uprooted a million people from their
homes, and driven more than 100 000 to seek shelter across the
Under the terms of the deal signed on April 8 in the Chadian
capital, the parties to the conflict agreed to cease hostilities,
guarantee safe passage for humanitarian aid to the stricken region,
free prisoners of war and disarm the Janjawid.
The UN has accused Khartoum's militia allies of ethnic cleansing in
Darfur, and a UN report obtained by AFP Thursday accused Khartoum
of deliberately starving civilians in at least one town in the
western region of Sudan. - Sapa-AFP