Chad accepts probe of post-coup actions at urging of French president

>N’DJAMENA, Chad (AP) – Chad’s president said after meeting with French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday that he will accept an international investigation into allegations of government abuse of power following a failed coup against him.

The remarks by President Idriss Deby came during a brief visit by Sarkozy to the embattled country that his administration helped deliver from a rebel attack on the capital earlier this month.

“We have made a number of decisions, among them to put together an international investigation – an investigation that will throw light on everything that happened in N’Djamena during this period,” Deby said.

Sarkozy, who stopped off in Chad on his way to South Africa, had said he wanted a credible international commission into the whereabouts of two political opponents who have been missing since the coup attempt.

“I won’t cede on this point,” Sarkozy said after the meeting. “France wants the truth.”

Human rights groups have charged that a state of emergency, declared Feb. 14, has provided cover for the government to terrorize peaceful political opponents.

The one-day trip comes at a pivotal moment for the arid, oil-rich African country, following closely on the attempt to oust Deby and as the European Union launches an operation in the east to protect refugees who fled Darfur.

Chad has been beset by low-level insurgencies for nearly a decade. In this month’s attack, rebels besieged the capital for three days before being beaten back.