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Joint UN-CAR-Chad mission to visit border on Wednesday

A joint UN-Chad-Central African Republic (CAR) mission headed by Gabonese President Omar Bongo will visit the two nations' common border on Wednesday to investigate recent fighting and prevailing insecurity, Radiodiffusion Nationale Tchadienne reported from the Chadian capital, N'djamena, on 16 August. Bongo was then expected to present a report on the mission's findings, Radio France Internationale (RFI) added.

The leaders of the two countries have tried to downplay recent clashes as a minor aberration rather than a result of any serious underlying bilateral tension.

"We never wished to have this conflict with CAR. I believe we have more important things to do, instead of playing around and killing civilians or arming mercenaries for unjustified causes," Chadian President Idriss Deby told RFI on 16 August.

For his part, CAR President Ange-Felix Patasse told RFI that "there is no dispute between us. In any family, there are always minor problems that must be solved."

On 17 August, the CAR government issued a statement saying that it had "taken note of the resolution of the heads of state with regard to the peaceful resolution of short-lived disagreements" between the two countries.

"The government renews its usual availability to work ceaselessly for the improvement of relations between the people of CAR and Chad destined to live together while respecting each of our constitutions, laws and regulations," it said. "The government will take all necessary measures so that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our two countries be respected," it added.

The statement also reaffirmed that "Chadians who are honest and respectful of the republic's laws are at home here in CAR".

[See earlier story, "Regional commission to investigate border problems"]

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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