US evacuates embassy in Chad

Other News Materials 5 February 2008 01:16 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - The United States has evacuated its embassy in Chad after the capital city N'Djamena was stormed by rebels, the US State Department said Monday.

There are several hundred Americans in Chad, and less than 100 of them have left the country, spokesman Sean McCormack said. There are several dozen Americans at the embassy, he added.

McCormack also warned the rebels to stay off the embassy grounds, which is sovereign US territory.

"What we would tell anybody who has any thoughts of entering embassy grounds is to say that that is American territory, leave it immediately and do not attempt to enter any of the buildings," he said.

Thousands of Chadian rebels poured into N'Djamena over the weekend amid reports of heavy fighting that has forced thousands of people to flee. Some were forced from their homes by the rebels.

McCormack also said allegations that the Sudanese government was backing the rebels were "very worrying" and that US officials have spoken with senior officials in the Sudanese government urging them to halt any support.

"We have gone in directly to very high levels of the Sudanese government to say that if there is any support from the Sudanese government to these rebels, that that should end immediately and that any influence they might have with the rebels they should use in order to tell them to withdraw," he said.