EU force for Chad takes shape

6th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 November 2007, PARIS (AFP) - Some 4,300 troops from 20 countries will take part in a new European peacekeeping force to be deployed in Chad and the Central African Republic, the Irish commander of the force said Monday.

6 November 2007

PARIS (AFP) - Some 4,300 troops from 20 countries will take part in a new European peacekeeping force to be deployed in Chad and the Central African Republic, the Irish commander of the force said Monday.

General Patrick Nash said he was confident the new force, whose first units are to be deployed later this month, could have a "huge impact" in eastern Chad and the northest of the Central African Republic.

The force will help secure refugee camps along the border with Sudan's Darfur region where fighting since 2003 has left more than 200,000 dead and displaced two million, according to UN figures.

"I'm quite confident that with professional European forces and with a very strong mandate and well trained people that we can make a huge impact in the situation in eastern Chad and the northeast of the Central African Republic," Nash said following talks with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

France will be providing the bulk of the 4,300-strong force that is to be finalized in talks in Brussels in the coming days.

Plans for the deployment were progressing despite tensions between France and Chad after a French charity was stopped from flying 103 children out of France last month to be placed in host families.

Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno told President Nicolas Sarkozy during his snap visit to N'Djamena on Sunday that the child abduction charges against 10 Europeans including the charity workers and Spanish flight crew would not jeopardize the mission.

AFP

Subject: French news

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