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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Rebels 'will not delay' Chad poll
President Idriss Deby flanked by soldiers
Security was tight around President Idriss Deby
Chad will hold presidential elections as scheduled next month despite last week's rebel attack on the capital, N'Djamena, President Idriss Deby says.

Mr Deby, speaking at a news conference in the city, said the army was back in control of the whole country.

More than 100 rebels were rounded up following the attack. Mr Deby said most of them were from Sudan, which has denied any involvement.

Chad's main civilian opposition parties are boycotting the 3 May polls.

Backing down

The BBC's Stephanie Hancock in N'Djamena says Mr Deby was surrounded by well-armed soldiers and members of the presidential guard as he spoke to journalists.

He also told Reuters news agency there could be a civil war if the elections were not held on time, leading to a "constitutional void".

On Monday, Chad withdrew a threat to expel refugees from Sudan's Darfur region and extended a deadline on a threat to halt oil production.

Mr Deby had said the 200,000 refugees may be forced out because Chad was breaking off diplomatic links with Sudan over the rebel raids, in which hundreds of people were reportedly killed.

Chad had threatened to stop oil production by Tuesday if it did not receive $100m worth of oil revenues from a US-led consortium.

The World Bank froze Chad's oil payments after measures to ensure oil revenues were not stolen were altered last year.

Mr Deby came to power in 1990, after ousting the former President Hissene Habre in a coup.


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