Fighting continued in the Chad capital of N'djamena on Wednesday night (26 March) following the failure of peace talks between the two main warring factions.
SV INTERIOR People through airport terminal
SV Refugee speaking to reporters in French
SV Another refugee speaking to reporters
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Background: Fighting continued in the Chad capital of N'djamena on Wednesday night (26 March) following the failure of peace talks between the two main warring factions. Reports reaching Paris said forces loyal to President Goukouni Oueddei and supporters of Defence Minister, Hissene Habre were exchanging sporadic fire in the city, while a third faction - led by Vice President Abdelkader Wadal Kamougue - was bombarding N'djamena from the outskirts. Several hundred people have been killed since the fighting began late last week.
SYNOPSIS: A first group of about one-hundred and fifty refugees arrived in Paris on Wednesday night (26 March) and told of nights of fear, crouching in corridors in their homes as the fighting raged in the city. They said a French military aircraft with refugees on board came under machine gun fire when it took off from N'djamena airport. Most of them, haggard and still trembling from their ordeal, vowed never to return to the Central African country. Hundred of Europeans, most of them French technical experts and their families, sought sanctuary in the French military base outside N'djamena.
At first the French Embassy instructed its nationals to stay put in their homes. French Ambassador Marcel Beaux secured a truce to allow safe passage for the Europeans, and groups got through to the French base in vehicles draped with white sheets and flying white flags. Chad has had only rare periods of peace since gaining independence from France in 1960.