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UN rights chief urges Chad fighters to respect humanitarian law

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official website] Tuesday urged the Chadian government and rebel forces to follow humanitarian law and respect human rights [statement] as fighting continued for a fourth day after rebels entered the capital city of N'Djamena in an attempt to overthrow Chadian President Idriss Deby [BBC profile]. An estimated 20,000 civilians have fled the capital [New York Times report] since violence escalated Saturday. Arbour expressed concern regarding the loss of civilian lives and called for both sides to take measures to protect civilians.

The latest fighting in Chad [JURIST news archive] is the most recent eruption of longstanding hostilities between the Chadian government and several rebel groups seeking to depose Deby. The UN Security Council [official website] Monday condemned the recent attacks [press release] and urged neighboring countries to help stop the rebel forces. UN News Service has more.

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