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Libya: Rebels accuse Chadian government of backing Gaddafi | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- A leading member of the Libyan Transitional National Council has accused the Chadian Government of backing Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi’s regime against the revolutionaries for the purpose of preventing it from collapse. He said the Chadian president was trying to pay back an old debt he owes Gaddafi when the opposition tried to enter Ndjamena in February 2008. But the Chadian Government has denied these accusations vehemently saying they are baseless and seeking to destroy the historic relationship between the two peoples and announced it has closed its borders with Libyan to stop the infiltration of any Al-Qaeda organization elements to Chad, according to a senior official in Ndjamena.

The Libyan leader, who preferred not to be named for security reasons, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the talk about mercenaries from Chad as reported by some news agencies and satellite channels was not right “since what is happening is an intervention in the Libyan affair by the regime of Idriss Deby in support of Gaddafi. Its aim is to protect his regime from collapsing.” After pointing out that the revolutionaries were not hostile to the Chadian people because of their historic interrelationships, he said: “Deby is trying to pay an old debt he owes Gaddafi who foiled an attempt by the Chadian opposition to bring down the regime when they attacked Ndjamena in February 2008.” He added that known leaders in the Chadian regime were in charge of providing the weapons and ammunitions and sending them to areas where Gaddafi’s regiments are deployed in addition to bringing in fighters from African countries.

He added that Gen. Ramadan Arobo, governor of Borkou and former Chadian security director; Gen. Sair Abadi, governor of Adre Province; and Gen. Tofa, the Republican Guards commander, were supervising the dispatch of African forces and deploying them in the areas between Al-Zawiyah and Tripoli. The same source said that these forces were protecting the road between these two cities, adding that “the Chadian ambassador in Tripoli, Daoussa Deby, and a bank director are the ones paying the money for bringing in the Africans, particularly from Chad, who are then landed in the Umm Jaras or Tanda airport at the borders with Libya and then taken by vehicles inside the country.” He pointed out that the elements which took part in seizing Ra’s Lanuf for Gaddafi’s forces were Chadian forces.

The Libyan leader went on to say that the revolutionaries have no interest in being hostile to Chad particularly as the two countries fought many wars in the past and said: “What we are asking from the Chadian Government is to be neutral in the ongoing struggle in Libya since it is an internal struggle with which they not concerned.” He reported that Paris has confirmed information and threatened to attack any vehicle heading toward Libya.

On his part, Omar Yahya, the Chadian president’s adviser, rejected the accusations of his country’s involvement in the ongoing struggle in Libya and has told Asharq Al-Awsat that his country is not interfering in the Libyan affair or standing with any party despite the historic relations between Deby and Gaddafi. He added that the two countries had fought many wars but their relations improved under Deby’s reign and pointed out that the revolutionaries’ accusations against his country were being leveled through the internet and they did not have evidence, not even about the names mentioned by the leading Transitional Council member, calling this “mere rumors.” He said: “They have not captured any Chadian soldier with a military identity card from the Chadian Armed Forces. They are talking on the internet.” He pointed out that there are “Al-Qaeda” elements in several Sahara countries, including Libya and said: “Therefore we acted with the neighboring countries, especially Mauritania and Algeria, to protect our borders which we have closed with Libya to stop the infiltration of any (Al-Qaeda) elements.” He added: “We do not rule out the possible presence of elements from (Al-Qaeda) in the ongoing struggle in Libya. We are protecting our borders and cooperating with the countries neighboring Libya.” He denied there were pressures from Western countries, particularly France, on Chad with regard to Libya and said: “Why should they pressure us? About what?”

Yahya went on to say that his country has not announced that Gaddafi had asked for asylum in it in future and pointed out that the time was not right to talk about receiving Gaddafi in Ndjamena and added: “The Libyans determine Libya’s future. But we call on the Libyan revolutionaries and government to reach peaceful solutions.” He noted that his country has not came forward with any initiative to the Libyan parties, especially as the revolutionaries are accusing Chad of siding with Gaddafi, but said: “We are working with the African Union [AU] and if we are asked to help it in reaching a solution in Tripoli, then we will not hesitate to do so.” He denied that Ndjamena had any contact with the revolutionaries but said “we are willing to help stop the shedding of blood in this dear country through the AU.”