The big problem with putting 3,000 peacekeepers in eastern Chad, is
logistics. There are few roads and, more importantly, few airfields. These
resources are already being used to near capacity by relief groups, who
maintain camps for over half a million refugees from Chad, Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR). There is
a solution to some of this, and that is air drops. The U.S. has GPS guided
parachutes for supply pallets. These can precisely land the supplies anywhere.
But this is even more expensive than just landing the transport and unloading.
The high cost of peacekeeping in the middle of nowhere will eventually become
an issue. The peacekeepers won't all arrive until the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the government has signed a deal with a
Chinese firm to build an oil refinery. The Chinese were generous with the
bribes, something that the government has had trouble with in dealing with
Western banks and suppliers. Getting a piece of this growing oil wealth is what
a lot of the current rebel activity is all about. Before the oil money showed
up, there were tribal feuds, which are still there. But the oil money is more
of an incentive to fight than some ancient
The government expects a net gain from having the
3,000, mainly French, peacekeepers on the Sudan border. Any dead rebels or
bandits mean less threats to the existing government. The Chad army has been
unable to shut down the tribal rebels, Sudanese raiders, freelance bandits and
assorted bad guys from CAR.