Page last updated at 09:16 GMT, Wednesday, 2 April 2008 10:16 UK

Chad accused Sudan on rebel raid

Chadian rebels
Chadian rebels attacked the country's capital in February

The Chadian government says insurgents backed by Sudan have launched a fresh offensive in the east of the country.

The report comes less than a month after the two countries signed a non-aggression pact.

A group of Darfur rebels claimed the Sudanese army was fighting alongside the Chadian opposition - an allegation denied by Khartoum.

The United Nations has accused the two countries of fighting a proxy war using each other's rebel groups.

In a statement, the Chadian defence ministry said the insurgents had crossed the border under orders from the Sudanese government to attack the area around Ade.

Sources said heavy fighting between the Chadian insurgents and the army had erupted in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

A group of Darfur's rebels - the Justice and Equality Movement - claimed the Sudanese army was fighting alongside the Chadian rebels.

Khartoum says that Sudan's armed forces had no hand in what was happening in Chad.

Growing tensions

Tensions have been high since an attempt by Chadian rebels to overthrow President Idriss Deby in February.

Chad accused Sudan of masterminding the attempted coup.

Last month the presidents of Chad and Sudan signed an accord in Senegal aimed at halting five years of hostilities between the two countries.

Chad's Idriss Deby and Sudan's Omar al-Bashir agreed to implement past failed peace pacts at a Dakar summit.

Map of Chad, Darfur and CAR

It called for the establishment of a monitoring group of foreign ministers from a handful of African countries that would meet monthly to ensure there have been no violations.

However, rebels from both Chad and Sudan dismissed the agreement as a piece of paper.

Chad had taken steps to prevent attacks from rebels, including digging a deep trench around N'Djamena and cutting down trees which could provide cover for attackers.

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The two presidents sign the deal

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