African neighbors Sudan and Chad signed a Saudi-brokered reconciliation deal in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, requiring both sides to cooperate with the United Nations to stabilize Darfur and the adjacent region in Chad.
“The two sides will adhere to working with the African Union and the United Nations to end the conflict in Darfur and east Chad to realize stability and peace for all,” a Saudi official, reading the agreement, said.
The agreement, signed by Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his Chadian counterpart, Idriss Deby, stipulated "respect for each other’s territorial integrity, not to interfere in each others affairs or shelter opposition forces of each party ... and eject them immediately,” he said.
Darfur crisis spilling into Chad
Chad has repeatedly accused Sudan of backing rebels in Chad and of supporting attacks in Chad by janjaweed militia based in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region. The Sudanese government calls the janjaweed outlaws and says it has no ties to them.
Officials from the African Union, whose peacekeepers have failed to ease violence in Darfur, say the conflict cannot be resolved unless hostilities cease on the Sudan-Chad border.
Sudan said on April 9 that 17 of its soldiers were killed in clashes with Chadian troops inside Sudanese territory. The incident was the latest in a series of clashes between Chad and Sudan, as violence from the four-year-old conflict in Darfur has spilled over the border into eastern Chad.
On April 17, Chad and Sudan formed a joint military committee as part of efforts to end a border conflict.