Chad to pull peacekeepers from Central African Republic
Chad is to pull its peacekeepers from an African Union mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) in protest at claims that they aided rebels.
A statement from the Chadian foreign ministry said its troops had been criticised despite their sacrifices.
Chad has contributed roughly 850 soldiers to a 6,000-strong contingent.
Its forces have been accused of siding with Muslim rebels whose ousting of the CAR government last year was followed by a wave of religious violence.
The rebels, who call themselves Seleka, seized power last March. Their leader stepped down in January amid spiralling attacks and counter-attacks between groups claiming to represent different faiths.
Recently, thousands of Muslims, a minority in CAR, have been fleeing to neighbouring Chad and Cameroon after being targeted by Christian militias.
The Chadian statement said its forces had been the victims of “a gratuitous and malicious campaign” to blame them for “all the suffering in CAR”.
The statement said the forces would remain in CAR while the details of the withdrawal were being worked out.
The ousted president of Chad, Francois Bozize, told the BBC last year that Chadian troops had helped drive him from office - a claim that Chad has denied.
Chadian troops make up a sizeable part of the African Union’s contingent in CAR.