RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - The
leaders of Sudan and Chad signed an agreement in Saudi Arabia on Thursday
pledging to work together to quell spillover fighting from the Darfur crisis
along their countries' 600-mile border.
The accord, signed by Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir and Chad's President
Idriss Deby, calls on the two African nations to work together to halt rebels
and opposition groups from staging cross-border attacks and support the African
Union's efforts to restore stability in Darfur.
The deal comes amid fears that the bloodshed in Sudan's western Darfur region
is increasingly spilling over the border into neighboring Chad. Janjaweed
militiamen who have terrorized Darfur regularly launch raids into Chad,
attacking civilians. Meanwhile, Sudanese-backed Chadian rebels stage attacks
into Chad, prompting Chadian army assaults into Darfur.
The four-year conflict between ethnic African rebels and pro-government
janjaweed militia in the western Sudanese region has killed more than 200,000
people and displace 2.5 million Darfurians.
Khartoum denies supporting the janjaweed, but the International Criminal
Court in The Hague has accused a junior Sudanese Cabinet minister of being the
militia's paymaster and a member of the Sudanese security forces of being a
The current 7,000 AU peacekeeping force in Darfur has struggled to contain
the fighting in the region, which is the size of France. Khartoum has recently
agreed to allow a batch of 3,000 U.N. peacekeepers reinforce the AU troops in