Chad opposition: 'France must stop backing dictator'

Chad's main opposition Wednesday urged France to stop backing President Idriss Deby Itno and cease flying over opposition positions in the central African nation's restive east.

Chad opposition: 'France must stop backing dictator'
The National Alliance (AN) group, led by General Mahamat Nouri, said in a statement it was warning France once again to abstain from giving any backing to the dictator," referring to Deby.

"French planes must stop flying over freed territories or stage other dissuasive parades," it added.

France has 1,400 troops deployed in Chad. The French military conducts reconnaisance flights and passes on information to Chadian authorities.

According to opposition and government sources, the eastern border region of Ade near Sudan was quiet on Wednesday, a day after clashes between the two sides.

An alliance of three opposition groups crossed the whole of southern Chad early this year and launched an assault on Ndjamena over the weekend of February 2-3.

They were driven out by Deby's troops with French military intelligence and reconnaissance support, after the head of state was holed up in his palace.

The opposition forces then withdrew to southeastern Chad. Their fractious alliance fell apart on tribal lines and reformed, headed by Nouri, who was last weekend joined by the Union of Forces for Change and Democracy (UFCD).

Ade lies 150 kilometres (95 miles) southeast of Abeche, the main town in eastern Chad, where the army and French troops permanently deployed are based, along with a contingent in Ndjamena.

Agencies
Last Mod: 02 Nisan 2008, 18:39
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