Rebels Flee Chad's Capital

Government declares victory; insurgents say move allows civilians to escape hostilities
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2008 12:19 PM CST
An evacuee, left, carries a child in a protective cover to keep her warm at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, outside of Paris, early Monday, Feb. 4, 2008. French and other foreigners had been evacuated...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Rebels pulled out of Chad’s capital city of N’Djamena last night, temporarily ending a 2-day siege, but renewed hostilities broke out today, the AP reports. The rebels said they pulled back to allow civilians to flee, an offer hundreds took advantage of. But the interior minister insisted the army was in control: “The savage mercenaries are routed.”

In response to an appeal for assistance from Chad's ambassador to the UN, the Security Council authorized France to supply troops. Meanwhile, the US government warned the rebels away from the abandoned US embassy. As the fighting raged, the government accused Sudan of backing the rebels to prevent EU peacekeepers from deploying along the Darfur border, but Sudan denies involvement.