Nigeria beefs up border to avoid Chadian influx - defence minister

Only Nigerians from Chad would be allowed into the country

  

ABUJA- Nigeria has reinforced its border security to avoid a potential influx of Chadians following the death of Chad's leader Idriss Deby, the defence minister said on Thursday.

Deby was killed on Monday in a battle against rebels who had invaded from the north, plunging the country into turmoil.

"When we heard of the death of the Chadian president...the government took action immediately. We beefed up security on our borders with Chad, not to allow the influx of Chadian refugees into Nigeria," said Bashir Salihi Magashi, a retired army major general.

Only Nigerians from Chad would be allowed into the country, he told reporters in the capital Abuja.

Nigeria is trying to deal with its own problems.

It is battling with mass kidnapping and killings linked to a decade-long Islamist insurgency in the northern part of the country that has displaced thousands of people in recent years.

"We are on top of the situation and we believe that African countries and international organizations will soon come together to find solutions to the problem in Chad as expected of them."

Deby's son has taken over as president and the armed forces commander and dissolved the government and parliament as rebel forces threaten to march on the capital. 

(Reporting by Felix Onuah, Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha, Editing by Gareth Jones and Angus MacSwan) ((chijioke.ohuocha@thomsonreuters.com; +234 703 4180 621; Reuters Messaging: chijioke.ohuocha.thomsonreuters@reuters.net))

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