Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chad-Sudan Border Reopens After Seven Years

The border between Chad and Sudan has reopened. The traffic is moving freely between the two countries. Sudanese taxis are going back and forth and so are the people. The reopening of the border was also confirmed by an official in Chad's foreign ministry who requested anonymity.

Part of Signed Accord
The border decision was part of the accord signed in January normalizing relations between Chad and Sudan. From 2003 rebel attacks in Darfur and also within Chad had heightened tensions between the two countries with both sides accusing the other of supporting cross-border insurgents.

In May 2008 after Darfur rebels reached the outskirts of the capital Khartoum, Sudan broke off diplomatic relations with Chad accusing Ndjamena of backing the attack.

Presence of Rebels
This was followed by a surprise rebel attack on Ndjamena, which came close to overthrowing the Chadian president before government forces managed to rally and rout the insurgents. But in January, Sudan and Chad agreed to deploy a joint force on their border to end the presence of rebels on each other's territory and halt their activities as part of normalization efforts.

And a month later Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno made a landmark visit to Khartoum during which he and Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir agreed to normalize ties and turn a page on years of tense relations.

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