Chad: The European Cavalry Is On The Way

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July 24, 2007: No one has offered their troops for the European Union peacekeeper force headed to Chad. But France is expected to contribute most of them, and cajole or shame others to pitch in. That said, it's going to take up to six months to get this force organized. Many European nations are uneasy about sending troops to Chad. This is in reaction to opposition politicians in Chad threatening violence if foreign troops enter the country. There are already some French troops there, to help keep president Deby in power. But more are not wanted by most of the dozens of tribes that make up Chad. The tribes have never gotten along well.

The EU plan is to send helicopters with the force so that a zone on the Sudanese border, 900 kilometers long, and up to 400 kilometers deep, can be cleared of illegal armed groups. This is expected to result in some fighting with the various armed factions.

July 19, 2007: After months of badgering by the UN, and especially France, Chad president Deby has agreed to allow European Union peacekeepers in eastern Chad. How many and when was not mentioned.

 

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