Chad, Sudan normalise relations
- Chad and Sudan agree to normalise relations
Tuesday, 05 May 2009
Chad and Sudan have agreed to end hostilities against each other and
normalise relations after reconciliation talks in the Qatari capital,
Doha. Officials from the two African nations signed the agreement on
Sunday at the end of the talks that Qatar helped to mediate.
"The agreement stipulates the halting of hostilities, and everyone
is now looking to the future, especially as both countries and people
have big interests," Ahmad Abdullah al-Mahmud, Qatar's minister of
state for foreign affairs, said on Sunday.
"Relations between Chad and Sudan should be normalised. If not, it will be difficult to find a solution to the Darfur crisis," former South African president Thabo Mbeki said on Saturday.
A Chadian government spokesman on Monday said he was confident the deal would hold and reaffirmed Ndjamena's commitment to make it work.
"The Chadian government is optimistic this new accord will stay the course. We are optimistic because of our goodwill. We are declaring our good faith to be at peace with our Sudanese neighbours," said Mahamat Hissein.
"We hope that this agreement, which has seen the involvement of several Arab countries and the African Union, will at last be implemented by Sudan," said Hissein, who is also the Chadian communication minister.(AFP)
Al Jazeera's Mohamed Vall, reporting from Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, on Monday, said the agreement "stresses the acceptance on both sides to adhere to a cessation of hostilities".
"It has not been a direct clash between the two armies, it has been a proxy war in which rebel groups from both sides are being used by these two countries," he said.
"But if they stop arming those groups and aiding and abetting those rebellions ... then that will be a good step ahead."
Both nations have long traded accusations that each is supporting rebel attacks inside the other's territory.
Vall said there is a general feeling of relief in Sudan in reaction to the agreement, even though people know many such agreements have been signed before.
"The agreement is a step towards a much [more] comprehensive agreement on the level of the presidents that is going to be signed in Libya next month," Vall said.
"The hope here is this will be a final one, and everybody will stick to the commitments that are going to be signed in this agreement."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday welcomed the peace talks
between Chad and Sudan to normalize their bilateral relations, and
urged both countries to "make every effort to ease tensions."
Ban, in a statement issued by his spokesperson, said, he "is concerned at reports about the recent build up and movement of armed elements on both sides of the Chad-Sudan border."
"In this context, the secretary-general welcomes the discussions towards the normalization of bilateral relations between the governments of Chad and Sudan held this week in Doha and calls on both parties to make every effort to ease tensions," the statement said.
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