- The African Union Chair Jean Ping has hailed the Governments of Chad and Sudan’s agreement to normalise the once soured relations between the two neighbours. The remarks followed the peace agreement signed on 15 January 2010 in N’Djamena.
The two countries have agreed to prevent armed groups from using the territory of either state against the interests of the other and to establish mechanisms to monitor their common border.
Mr Ping welcomed the new development as a major step forward in that it identifies specific measures for the early and full normalization of relations between the two countries.
The decision follows the visits undertaken by high level delegations of the two countries to Chad and Sudan in October and December 2009 through which the Sudanese and Chadian authorities had agreed to work towards the restoration of ties.
The Sudan-Chad relations have been intense due to the conflict in Darfur and a civil war in Chad with both government trading accusations claiming each is supporting armed rebellion from either side of the countries.
In 2006, the two neighbouring countries signed a bilateral Security Protocol, Tripoli accord, which calls for a ban on the use of territory of either country for hostile action and the acceptance of rebels from each other.
Full normalisation of relations between Sudan and Chad, including the ending of support for armed rebel groups on both sides, if fully implemented, remains a key element in advancing the Darfur Peace Process and in promoting regional security in general.
Although encouraging progress has been achieved toward normalizing their ties, the parties still need to fulfill their commitments to implement past agreements and need to set up an appropriate and effective border monitoring mechanism on their shared border.
The rebels in Chad have been trying to topple President Idriss Deby for more than three years.
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