Sudan, Chad Trade Accusations Over Border Clashes

|PIC1|Violent clashes have occurred on the Sudan-Chad border in the western region of Darfur, with 17 Sudanese soldiers reported killed and up to 40 injured on Monday.

Chad said that it managed to stem a major rebel attack launched by Sudan but Khartoum strongly denies the accusations, saying that Chad has killed 17 of its troops. Khartoum has threatened a tough response.

Chadian Information Minister Hourmadji Moussa Doumgor reported to the press that a convoy of around 200 rebel vehicles from Sudan was defeated after it attacked Chad army positions in the border village of Aldjirema, Reuters reports.

The minister also said that at least eight Chadian soldiers had been killed in the attacks: "Chad expects the international community to unequivocally condemn this enemy aggression led from Sudan against Chad and take appropriate measures to compel the Sudanese government to abandon its expansionist plans to destabilise Chad."

The incident was denied by Sudan, with Sudanese armed forces spokesman Mohammed Aghbash saying that Chadian troops backed by seven armoured vehicles and 140 armed off-road vehicles have crossed the border and attacked Sudanese troops before being forced to withdraw.

Aghbash said in a statement: "We send a strong message to all traitors and those who seek to escalate the situation that the response would be strong and through all legitimate means."

Just two months ago the Chadian President Idriss Deby and Sudanese leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir signed a non-aggression pact in the Libyan capital Tripoli in an effort to ensure tensions did not escalate into full-scale fighting.