EU Chad mission head regrets death of French soldier

10th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

Lieutenant General Patrick Nash, head of the EU's peacekeeping mission to Chad, sent his condolences to the family of a French soldier killed last week.

   BRUSSELS, March 10, 2008  - Irish Lieutenant General Patrick Nash,
head of the EU's peacekeeping mission to Chad, on Monday sent his condolences to the family of a French soldier killed last week after crossing into Sudan.
   "The tragic outcome of last Monday's inadvertent border crossing incident
demonstrates the potential and actual sacrifices that soldiers serving the
cause of peace in mission areas around the world face," Nash said in a
statement.
   Sergeant Gilles Polin, 28, identified by France as a member of its special
forces, was reported missing when at least one vehicle from the European Union
peacekeeping mission in Chad, known as EUFOR, crossed into Sudan last Monday.
   An exchange of fire followed in which a Sudanese soldier and civilian were
killed and another French soldier was wounded, but details of the incident are
sketchy.
   Expressing his regret at the death, the first for a member of the EU
mission to Chad and the neighbouring Central African Republic, Nash called it
"a sad occasion for EUFOR," and offered his condolences to the dead soldier's
family.
   EUFOR has a UN mandate to protect refugees from western Sudan's
strife-wracked Darfur region as well as people internally displaced by rebel
insurgency in Chad and the northern Central African Republic.
   A vanguard of the 14-nation mission to total 3,700 troops, 2,000 of whom
will be French, has been deployed.

AFP 

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