- Chadian President has slammed European Union (EU) peacekeepers for backing rebels and failing to protect civilians as rebel's advances since Saturday claimed victory on third town.
President Idriss Deby criticism on EU Forces (EUFOR) followed an announcement by rebel spokesman, Ali Gueddei that they had seized the eastern town of Biltine without any resistance from Chadian troops.
Mr Deby told national broadcaster that government had requested protection from international community and had been happy to receive EU military contingent when it was deployed earlier this year, but now were disappointed.
"We surprised to see that in its first hostile test, EU has cooperated with invaders, allowing humanitarian workers' vehicles to be stolen and their food and fuel stocks burned," he said.
Chadian rebels, who have been fighting for two years to oust Mr Deby, for allegedly being corrupt, are now taking a centre stage since February in their advances to the country's capital N'djamena.
President Deby who has ruled former French colony since seizing power in a 1990 revolt, has survived rebel assault earlier this year earlier.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and UN Security Council condemned the attacks by the rebels, warning that it would take stringent measures against rebels if the threats continued in Chad.
"The Security Council condemns in the strongest terms the attacks conducted by Chadian armed groups since 11 June 2008," the council said.
Mr Gueddei said that their force was strong enough to take the capital, which has been advancing towards N'djamena to unseat Mr Deby.
European Union peacekeepers (Eufor) confrontation with rebels on Saturday near Goz Beida, left no casualties on EU troops.
Ms Annette Rehrl, UNHCR's spokesperson said UNHCR had suspended all activities on Monday in 12 refugee camps in the east of country due to rapidly deteriorating security situation.
Eastern Chad is a temporary home to some 300,000 Sudan refugees who have fled conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region and over 180 000 Chadians displaced by war between government and rebels.
The European Union is deploying a total of 3,700 troops, including 2,200 French soldiers, to help protect Sudanese refugees and Chadians uprooted by the conflict.
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