Chad demands the removal of Sudanese refugees

February 11, 2008 6:52:51 AM PST
Chad's prime minister demanded Monday that the international community remove refugees who have fled to Chad from Sudan's Darfur region. Prime Minister Nouradin Koumakoye said Sudan's government foments violence in Chad -- including backing a failed coup attempt last week -- because of the refugees' presence. Sudan has denied involvement in the coup.

"We demand that the international community transfer the population (of Sudanese refugees) from Chad to Sudan to free us," Koumakoye told reporters. "We want the international community to look for another country so that the Sudanese can leave. If they cannot do it, we are going to do it."

Some 400,000 refugees live in the Chad-Sudan border region. Over the weekend, the U.N. said up to 12,000 Darfur refugees had fled to Chad following air strikes by the Sudanese military.

Chad has accused Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir of backing rebels in last week's coup attempt in a bid to prevent deployment of a European peacekeeping force in the border region.