Sudan cuts ties with Chad after attack on Khartoum

Published May 11th, 2008 - 08:43 GMT

Sudan cut diplomatic ties with Chad on Sunday after an attack on the Sudanese capital by Darfur rebels which it said was backed by Chadian President Idriss Deby. The rebels fought Sudanese soldiers in a suburb of Khartoum on Saturday in an attempt to seize power but officials said the attack was defeated.


According to Reuters, Sudanese authorities extended a curfew indefinitely on Sunday and said troops were still hunting down rebels who were wandering the streets. "These forces are all basically Chadian forces supported and prepared by Chad and they moved from Chad under the leadership of Khalil Ibrahim," President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on state television.


Ibrahim is the leader of the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) which attacked Khartoum state's suburb Omdurman. "We are now cutting our diplomatic relations with this regime," Bashir said.


It was the first time fighting had reached the capital in decades of conflict. During the attack, heavy gunfire and artillery shook Omdurman, situated across the Nile river from the heart of Khartoum. "We have lots of wandering defeated fighters ... and we are chasing them and we don't want civilians to get caught in the cross fire," Khartoum state governor Abdel Haleem al-Mutafi told Reuters.


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