Security Council Holds Emergency Session on Chad

The Security Council is weighing its options as rebel forces battle the government of Idriss Deby on the streets of Chad’s capitol, N’Djamena. Secretary General Ban, meanwhile, is urging an end to the fighting.

The Security Council met in an extraordinary Sunday session called by France and the three African members of the council — South Africa, Burkina Faso and Libya — and considered a letter from Chad appealing to U.N. members for help.

After 3 1/2 hours of discussions on a proposed statement condemning the rebel attack, the council adjourned debate until Monday because Russia’s delegation needed more time to consult Moscow over the text, diplomats said

They said Russia had objected to the first French draft that called on U.N. members to support the Deby government “by all necessary means” — a veiled reference to military aid.

A later draft urged members to “provide support as requested by the government of Chad.” In his handwritten letter to the council, Chadian Ambassador Mahamat Adoum requested “all aid and assistance needed to help (Chad) end this aggression.”

Meanwhile, the proposed French-led European Union force to protect refugee camps in eastern Chad (along the Darfur border) has been postponed.