France evacuates further 363 to Paris as fighting intensifies

The French government has taken further steps to evacuate foreign civilians from N’Djamena, Chad, as fighting there between government forces and Khartoum-backed rebels intensifies. According to the BBC, thousands of people have fled N’Djamena.

The government claims to have defeated the rebels, who say they have withdrawn only to give civilians an opportunity to leave. Reuters reports that thousands of people have fled across the border to Cameroon at N’Djamena and Kousseri.

Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary-General, has already made pleas for a ceasefire. The UN will meet later today in New York to discuss the situation.

More importantly, the Chadian Minister for Mines and Energy has explicitly laid blame squarely on Sudan, saying Sudan had backed the operation with aircraft and that such a move amounted to a “declaration of war”. Obviously, Sudan has strongly denied this.

The Chinese government in Beijing has also evacuated 212 people from the city – two Taiwanese and the rest Chinese. Is China trying to gain by helping evacuate the two Taiwanese too? China of course sees Taiwan as a breakaway province, so will helping to evacuate these two boost its image in the Taiwan debate?

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