Sudan, Chad sign peace deal at OIC summit

The presidents of Sudan and Chad signed a peace agreement Thursday to suppress attacks by armed groups operating along their shared border.

Sudan, Chad sign peace deal at OIC summit
"We hope that this accord will open a new page in the relations between the two countries," al-Bashir told reporters after the signing in Senegal's capital, Dakar.

The deal commits the two nations to implementing past accords that have so far failed to help end violence in the area. It calls for foreign ministers of each country to meet monthly to be sure there are no violations.

Deby said this deal is different from the others because it puts concrete implementation to earlier promises, and was witnessed by a host of high-level international diplomats and fellow African heads of state.

"This one is the best," Deby said of the deal. "The guarantee is the belief in peace. The peace needs to be a peace in our hearts."

Chad's government issued a statement Thursday accusing Sudan of launching "several heavily armed columns" against Chad on Wednesday.

Sudan's state minister for foreign affairs said the charges were unfounded.

"It is not happening and it is not going to happen," said Al Sammani al-Wasila. "We are freely committed. Our borders were closed since the last agreement signed" in October 2007.

"We came with an open mind and an open heart with the goodwill to improve our relations. It is not a choice," he said.

A text of Thursday's agreement said the two leaders agreed to "inhibit all activities of armed groups and prevent the use of our respective territories for the destabilization of one or the other of our states."

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade brokered the agreement at his palace in the capital. The country is hosting a summit of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference, the world's largest Muslim organization, in Dakar.


Agencies
Last Mod: 14 Mart 2008, 12:50
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