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PRESS RELEASE


Sudan and Chad Efforts to Douse Darfur Border Conflict Are Under Pressure

June 14, 2007 (EIRNS)—Sudan today announced that they would not attend the conference on the crisis in Darfur that is being organized by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, to take place later this month. Sudan told him June 10 when he was in Sudan, that what he was doing wasn't helpful, since a months-long negotiating effort was underway to deal with precisely that issue, which culminated yesterday in the agreement made in Addis Abeba for a Hybrid AU-UN peacekeeping force to be deployed in Darfur (7,000-9,000 troops in addition to the 10,000 AU troops already in Darfur).

The Sarkozy regime is intent on getting troops into Chad, pretending that the reasons are humanitarian, i.e., to ensure that aid can be delivered to people in Darfur. When Kouchner was asked in Chad, before he left for Khartoum, if France would fund African peacekeepers so that the conflict could be dealt with, Kouchner nixed the idea, saying that he was only interested in getting troops into Chad, to establish "corridors" into Darfur.

Yesterday, in Egypt, Chadi President Idriss Deby rejected the idea of foreign troops coming to the area, and underlined the importance of helping Sudan settle the Darfur crisis through peaceful means. But he also indicated how Chad is being blackmailed to not stand in the way of foreign troops coming into Chad. "Chad is a poor country and it cannot stand up to the pressures by the world's major powers and the United Nations. In the past, we refused the international troops, but now the situation does not allow that, and if there were will be further deterioration, we won't be able to resist," he said.