Sudan bombs Chad —again?

On March 22, Chad said warplanes from Sudan bombed two towns in its war-torn east, killing several people and violating a non-aggression pact signed last month. President Idriss Deby’s government said two bombers have repeatedly struck the settlements of Kariari and Gregui near the eastern border with Sudan’s Darfur region, causing heavy damage.

It was the second time in five months that Chad has charged Sudan with bombing its territory. In October, N’Djamena said four Sudanese planes bombed four border towns. Khartoum dismissed the statement as propaganda.

The two African states agreed last month in Libya to end border violence fuelled by the conflict in Darfur, where an estimated 2.5 million people have been displaced and some 200,000 killed since 2003. The pact brokered by Libyan leader Moammar Qadaffi was the third such agreement signed by Chad and Sudan in 12 months. (Reuters, March 22)

Meanwhile, the president of autonomous South Sudan has called for Darfur’s rebel leaders to meet in his capital, Juba, to build consensus ahead of possible peace talks to end the ongoing crisis. “I have personally called for an all-Darfur conference to take place in Juba in April and I will be calling on you to contribute in this endeavour,” said Salva Kiir, who is also Sudan’s first vice president. (Reuters, March 22)

See our last posts on Sudan and Chad.