Chad: Pointless Peacekeeping


August 1, 2008: Severe food shortages in the north are more due to bad weather than banditry.  It's the various rebel groups, and many freelance bandits, that are making the roads along the Sudan border unsafe, and threaten food availability all along the border (where there is generally no famine). The 3,000 European peacekeepers lack the airpower (reconnaissance UAVs and helicopters for quickly moving troops to where there is trouble) to be very effective. The border area comprises over 300,000 kilometers, and troops operating only on the roads cannot cover much ground.  The peacekeepers are to be withdrawn next March, and there are already discussions to extend that six months. But without a lot more helicopters and UAVs, which no one is offering to provide, the peacekeepers are not having much impact.

July 26, 2008: Near the Sudan border, a Red Cross employee was shot by bandits. The foreign aid groups are preparing to abandon the area, because of the personal danger.

July 24, 2008: An American Christian missionary, held prisoner by MDJT rebels in the north for nine months, was released. The American was grabbed, while helping villagers drill a well, because the rebels believed he was a government spy. The rebels eventually figured out that was not the case, but things move slowly in this part of the world, and it took a long time to arrange a release.


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