SUDAN WATCH: Chad says no need for French military aid for now

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Chad says no need for French military aid for now

May 7, 2009 AFP report (via Dow Jones Newswires):
Chad Foreign Min Says No Need For French Military Aid
PARIS (AFP)--Chad's foreign minister Wednesday said his country wasn't seeking any immediate military aid from France to put down a rebel offensive in the east of the country.

"We have a technical cooperation agreement with France that is still valid," Moussa Faki Mahamat told RFI radio after meeting with Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in Paris.

"For the time being, the Chadian army has the capacity to address this new situation."

France has 1,100 soldiers based in in its former colony under a bilateral accord and 800 others are serving in a U.N.-led force that last month took over a European mission to protect refugees in camps.

The foreign minister called on U.N. Security Council members and the African Union to condemn "this blatant act of large-scale aggression" that he said was being led by Sudan.

Khartoum-backed rebel troops said Wednesday they were advancing toward the capital Ndjamena, which spokesman Ali Ordjo Hemchi described as the "final objective" in the offensive launched this week.

Kouchner met with Mahamat to discuss "diplomatic actions that could be taken to avert a worsening of the situation and possible consequences on regional security and stability," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

France supports the stability, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Chad, said spokesman Eric Chevallier.

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