Chad's Foreign Minister has appealed to the United Nations to protect his country against an invasion by Libya.
SV Chad Foreign Minister Kotiga Guerina addressing General Assembly at United Nations with delegates listening. (4 SHOTS)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Chad's Foreign Minister has appealed to the United Nations to protect his country against an invasion by Libya. Lieutenant-Colonel Kotiga Guerina claimed the Libyans intended to annex northern regions which amounted to half the total area Chad.
SYNOPSIS: In his speech to the General Assembly, the Foreign Minister said he was asking for urgent action to be taken by the international community. And he said Chad was not the only poor African country to be facing a similar threat.
According to Colonel Guerina, other nations with few resources would be placed in peril if Chad was abandoned. He maintained that the threat was particularly serious because Libya wanted to acquire a nuclear plant-and might try to use uranium from northern Chad.
Earlier this year France admitted that Foreign Legion troops were backing guerrillas in northern Chad. Jaguar fighter-bombers of the French Air Force have been involved in battles with the rebels. In May a ceasefire line was established not far north of the capital, N'Djamena, after the rebels had advanced rapidly southwards for 965 kilometres (600 miles).
At the General Assembly, Colonel Guerina pointed out that Chad needed to turn its attention away from hostilities to the peaceful struggle against underdevelopment. The people of Chad needed help, particularly at a time when the country was suffering from a terrible drought. And he would not only bring more financial resources, but peace, public security and protection of life and property.
Recently Libya had made moves towards a settlement of the conflict in Chad. A senior member of the Libyan government held talks with the French President, Valery Giscard d'Estainng, to discuss a solution. On the other hand a Libyan conference held in July between the Chad government and the Frolinat rebels failed to make any progress. Peace proposals presented by Libya, Nigeria and the Sudan were rejected by other sides.