Chad Conflict Rages On

The State Department said Sunday that less than 100 Americans have left the country, while others are still waiting for evacuation. France's ambassador to the United Nations, Jean-Maurice Ripert, said the French military had helped over 700 foreign citizens leave the country.

The U.N. Security Council approved a presidential statement Monday that, in part, "calls upon member states to provide support, in conformity with the United Nations Charter, as requested by the government of Chad."

This could give the green light for countries to use force to back Chad's president against the rebels if such force is requested by the government.

However, stronger resolution language that would support the "legal government of Chad" by "all necessary means" was removed over objections by Russia, which holds veto power on the council. Such language could have permitted the use of force to defend Deby's government.

The African Union called on the leaders of Libya and the Democratic Republic of Congo to mediate a resolution to the crisis.

The fighting has also hindered efforts to care for thousands of refugees from Darfur who are sheltered in eastern Chad. Earlier in the week the UN's refugee agency pulled most of its workers out of eastern Chad, where it operates refugee camps for around 30,000 Darfur refugees, after its facilities were attacked by rebel forces.

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