African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Posted by African Press International on July 31, 2007

NDjamena (Chad) President Idriss Deby Itno of Chad on Monday met a delegation of about 20 exiled opposition leaders, led by the former head of state Goukouni Weddeye, APA has learnt.

As Gabon mediated this move, its vice-premier Jean Ping accompanied the delegation of opposition leaders to Ndjamena, the Chadian capital.

The Ndjamena meeting is an important step in the search for the restoration and strengthening of peace in Chad, the Gabonese mediator said.

“I urge all Chadian citizens to adhere to this initiative, notwithstanding their political affiliation, to enable the country achieve its socio-economic progress,” President Deby said.

According to him, this move is a great gift for the Chadian war-stricken people.

“We will from now on do everything possible to contribute in the search for peace in our country,” former Chadian head of state Goukouni stressed after his meeting with President Deby.

Goukouni, who in April discussed for a few hours with President Deby in Libreville, expressed his readiness to return home. He also announced his initiative to bring together the opposition leaders and the government.

He ran the country as president of the broad-based government of the Chadian transition (GUNT) from 1980 to 1982 before Hissen Habre toppled him.

Goukouni and the other delegates also expressed their intention to return to their home country after their three-hour discussions with President Deby.

The NDjamena meeting has enabled the two delegations (exiled opposition leaders and government officials) to brainstorm on a global peace plan to be submitted to the political and military groups, according to corroborating sources.

The Chadian stalwart rebel leaders immediately rejected the proposal made then by Goukouni in Libreville .

Since then, the government had triggered negotiations with the leaders of the main rebel movements in Tripoli, Libya under the aegis of the Libyan guide, Mouhammar Khadafi. These planned negotiations failed because of certain prerequisites imposed by the rebels.

The Goukouni-led delegation comprised Adoum Togo, Antoine Bangui, Fidel Moungar (Debys former premier), and Ahmat Yacoub. They returned to Libreville Monday afternoon.

Published by Korir, API*APN tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa


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