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Sacked Syria rebel chief rejects dismissal

Syria's sacked rebel chief General Selim Idriss on Wednesday rejected his dismissal by opposition leaders and said the Free Syrian Army's whole chain of command needed a "total restructuring." Speaking in a video statement flanked by several top field commanders of the FSA's Supreme Military Council, the sacked rebel chief said: "We... have been asked to start working on a total restructuring of the SMC." Idriss lashed out at the opposition's defence minister, Assaad Mustafa, who reportedly backed his replacement on Sunday by Brigadier General Abdel Ilah al-Bashir.

Syria rebel chief disavows 'alien' Islam of jihadists

Syria's mainstream rebel leader has said that all those fighting President Bashar al-Assad's regime are Muslims but that the draconian punishments imposed by jihadist groups in Islam's name are "alien." Supreme Military Council leader Selim Idriss pledged cooperation, however, with a newly formed alliance of Islamist rebel groups just days after it committed itself to setting up an Islamic state in Syria.

Chad PM offers resignation after arbitrary arrest claims

Chad's Prime Minister Joseph Djimrangar Dadnadji offered his resignation to the country's president on Thursday after his party proposed a motion of no confidence in him, accusing him of ordering arbitrary arrests of his deputies. Dadnadji resigned in a letter seen by AFP three days after his MPS party introduced the measure to parliament, ahead of a debate which was supposed to be held by lawmakers on Friday. President Idriss Deby, who has ruled Chad with an iron fist since 1990, has yet to officially accept his resignation.

Rebel chief Idriss emerges as key interlocutor for West

Salim Idriss, the former Syrian army general who now heads the rebel Free Syrian Army's military command, is a key interlocutor for the West and could be the conduit for future US military aid. In the West, Idriss is seen as a moderate voice, a counterbalance to some of the more unsavoury radicals fighting within the opposition's ranks. When US Republican Senator John McCain slipped into Syria briefly last month, he met with Idriss, and has since praised the 55-year-old as a figure the United States can work with.

Chad arrests journalist

The Chadian authorities on Monday detained a journalist on charges of "threatening constitutional order", his lawyer and colleagues said. Eric Topona, secretary-general of the Union of Chadian Journalists (UJT), was "summoned as a witness in a defamation case" and subsequently detained, his lawyer Sobdibe Zoua told AFP. "The UJT is saddened to learn that its secretary-general Eric Topna was arrested Monday and detained at the N'Djamena detention centre," union chairman Mahamd Moussa Abba said.

Self-proclaimed C.Africa leader cannot be recognised: Chad president

African heads of state decided Wednesday that it was impossible to recognise rebel chief Michel Djotodia as president of the Central African Republic, and want the country to elect a transitional president, Chad's leader said at the end of a summit called to discuss the political crisis.

France says to reinforce troops in Central African Republic

PARIS (Reuters) - France is sending more troops to the Central African Republic to protect its citizens there after rebels seized the capital Bangui, the French president's office said Sunday. The statement gave no details of troop numbers, but said President Francois Hollande had spoken with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Chadian President Idriss Deby and repeated his plea for restraint and dialogue between all parties. (Reporting by Lionel Laurent; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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