Sunday, March 04, 2007

Chad lawmakers pass amnesty law for rebels

February 27, 2007.

N'DJAMENA, Chad (AP) -- The national assembly has passed an amnesty law for a Chadian rebel group that signed a cease-fire deal with the government two months ago.

Also late Monday, President Idriss Deby appointed Nouradine Delwa Kassire Koumakoye prime minister. Koumakoye was minister of state for territorial administration before his appointment. He was also one of Deby's allies who ran against him in a May 2006 election boycotted by the main opposition parties.

Koumakoye's predecessor, Pascal Yoadimnadji, died last week in Paris, France, following a brain hemorrhage.

The amnesty law was part of the Libya-brokered deal that saw one of several rebel groups in eastern Chad lay down arms and agree to work with the government in December.

The national assembly voted late Monday 91-2 in favor of the law. Under Chadian law, Deby has two weeks to sign the amnesty law for it to take effect; otherwise it will automatically take effect after two weeks.

Once it takes effect, members of the rebel United Front for Democratic Change group will be allowed return to their homes without interference from the government. The law, however, does not cover any violations they may have committed before becoming rebels or after they return to civilian life.

The United Front for Democratic Change, which has fought an insurgency in eastern Chad since 2005, launched a failed assault on the Chadian capital, N'djamena, in April 2006.

The violence in eastern Chad has followed repeated warnings that the conflict in the neighboring Darfur region of western Sudan could spill over and engulf the region where Chad, Sudan and the Central African Republic meet.

The governments of Chad and Sudan trade accusations that each is supporting the other's rebels -- each side denies the allegations.

Source: CNN.

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