Chad says peace deal definitive but rebels quibble

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N'DJAMENA, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Chad said today a peace deal signed in Libya with four rebel groups, which promises government posts in return for a ceasefire, was definitive but rebel leaders said there were differences over disarmament.

Infrastructure Minister Adoum Younousmi, who initialled the agreement in Tripoli on Wednesday, said after three months of talks under Libyan mediation there was nothing left to clarify.

''Some aspects of this agreement have already taken effect, like the ceasefire. The other aspects will wait for the official signing ceremony,'' Younousmi told journalists.

The deal, which must be signed by Chadian President Idriss Deby, calls for an amnesty and a role for rebels in government in return for a ceasefire and the integration of their forces in the army of the landlocked central African state.

''If the rebel movements have internal problems and cannot explain this agreement, that is not our problem.'' The two main groups of insurgents which signed the deal, the UFDD of Mahamat Nouri and the RFC led by Timane Erdimi, have since described it as a preliminary accord and said the terms of disarmament and military reintegration have yet to be resolved.

The groups have been fighting a cat-and-mouse rebellion against Deby's regime in eastern Chad, launching attacks from across the border in Sudan's war-torn province of Darfur.

Since launching an assault on Chad's western capital N'Djamena in early 2006, their insurgency has flagged while Deby's government has benefited from high oil revenues.

''This is a preliminary agreement. We agreed on the main points, on the ceasefire,'' Erdimi told French state radio RFI.

''There are many things to negotiate. All the military issues must still be discussed.'' The minister said article seven of the agreement clearly outlined the procedure for disarmament.

''It specifies that (rebel) forces will be confined to their current position -- that's to say in Sudan. They will be confined, counted, disarmed and integrated into the national army under the supervision of a tripartite commission.'' Abdel Wahid About, commander of the Fundamental UFDD which split from Nouri's movement, was more positive about the deal.

He backed the tripartite commission -- composed of the opposition, government and foreign mediators -- to oversee the rebels' reintegration into the national army.

After weeks of wrangling, particularly over disarmament, the peace talks took on greater urgency last week when the United Nations approved a European Union peacekeeping force for eastern Chad to help stem violence from Sudan's Darfur region.


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