Sudan, Chad Pledge Security Cooperation, 04/13/03

Sudan, Chad pledge security cooperation

KHARTOUM, April 13 (AFP) -- Sudan and Chad have pledged to crack down on acts of instability and armed banditry along their common border, the state news agency SUNA said Sunday.

Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir met his Chadian counterpart Idrisse Debbe in Fashir, capital of North Darfur state in west Sudan on Saturday, where they discussed security cooperation between the two countries, SUNA said.

Debbe said his country would never allow an organisation or an individual to disturb security and stability along their common border, it said.

He stressed the need for redoubling joint efforts to find a solution to the security problems in Darfur, calling for an end to banditry for the sake of peace, as violence "never builds a nation".

"The governments of the two countries seek to maintain peace and security by all means," said Beshir, commending the existing cooperation between Sudan and Chad.

The two neighbours signed in late January an accord to create a joint force to monitor border security.

Last month Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) rebels said they had captured Tina, a garrison town on the border with Chad, from government forces

The movement -- previously known as the Darfur Liberation Front -- has called for a replacement of Khartoum's Islamic government with a "united democratic" regime through armed struggle.

Darfur is one of the most arid and isolated regions in Sudan, Africa's largest country. The area has witnessed tribal clashes and bandit raids for many years.

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