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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 17:38 GMT
Chad curfew after rebel attacks
Chad soldiers (06/02/08)
The government is now in control of the capital
The Chad government has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in much of the country after rebels attacked the capital, N'Djamena, last weekend.

The curfew applies in the capital and six provinces in the south and east, the prime minister announced.

At least 100 civilians were killed in the fighting, aid workers say.

Meanwhile, President Idriss Deby asked the European Union to deploy peacekeepers to the country "as quickly as possible".

Rebel forces say they have regrouped near the town of Mongo, 600 km (375 miles) east of N'Djamena.


One rebel spokesman told Reuters news agency they were being bombed by French planes and helicopters there.

Former colonial power France has a military base in Chad but has denied that its forces have intervened on behalf of the government.

People returning to Chad from Cameroon
N'Djamena residents are now returning home
But it has warned the rebels not to attack the capital again and has helped with logistics and intelligence.

After the first cabinet meeting since the fighting, Prime Minister Nouradine Delwa Kassire Koumakoye said the curfew would help government forces "restore calm in the country."

But it wants help from the EU force, which was delayed last week when the capital was attacked.

"I'm making a solemn appeal to the European Union and the initiator of this idea, France, to make sure that this force is installed as swiftly as possible to ease the burden we have to bear today," Mr Deby told French radio Europe 1.

The force is supposed to protect refugees from Darfur in neighbouring Sudan and aid workers.

Chad accuses Sudan of backing the rebel advance because it does not want western peacekeepers near Darfur.

Sudan denies the charges.

EU spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Philippe de Cussac told the AFP news agency that he hoped the force could be deployed next week - as long as it was safe in N'Djamena.

"We are working as hard as we can to relaunch the deployments as soon as possible, at the beginning of the week."

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