UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Security Council issued a statement Monday condemning rebel groups in Chad that have attempted to overthrow the country's government.
The council's president for the month of February, Panamanian Ambassador Ricardo Alberto Arias, read the statement, which called for the rebel groups to immediately cease their attacks, the Voice of America reported Monday.
"The Security Council calls upon member states to provide support in conformity with the U.N. Charter as requested by the government of Chad," Arias said.
Gunfire and shelling were reported Monday in N'Djamena, the country's capital, as thousands fled the city amid fighting between the rebels and government forces.
Jean-Maurice Ripert, the French ambassador to the United Nations, said the statement asks member states to assist the "legal government" of Chad, but he did not say whether the French military would take action.
"I guess there will be some request from the government of Chad addressed to some member states or to all member states of the U.N. and we will see," said Ripert. "What is important is that the Security Council allows the member states to do so and to answer the request for help and assistance of Chad."
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