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Volatile eastern Chad threatens country

BRUSSELS, April 16 (UPI) -- The crisis in eastern Chad from ethic violence and regional strife could escalate and threaten stability, a report from the International Crisis Group said.

The Belgium-based non-governmental organization released a report Wednesday warning that the ongoing violence in the east of Chad combined with devastation and war in the neighboring Darfur region of western Sudan threatens to destabilize the entire country, the Crisis Group reported.

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The report, "Chad: Powder Keg in the East," said Chadian President Idriss Deby has fanned the flames of ethnic tensions in the east of the country as a way to divide his political opposition.

Crisis Group officials warned that Deby's divisive tactics and the massive influx of Sudanese refugees would destabilize the whole of Chad without a new commitment from the international community to help address the debilitating situation.

"Eastern Chad will remain a powder keg susceptible to rebellion and open to destabilization from abroad as long as the root problems are left latent and until serious attention is given to the local sources of tension," James Yellin, Crisis Group Central Africa project director, said in a statement.

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