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EU Stays Committed To Chad Role

  • February 5th, 2008
  • Posted by EUEditor

chad-map.jpgEuropean leaders have supported the beleaguered government of Chad against the latest move to seize power by rebel forces in the central African country.

When the attack began on the capital city, N’Djamena, the European commissioner for development, Louis Michel, said (1.2.08) he was following events closely and condemned any attempts to seize political power by force.

“The population of Chad wants security, peace and reconciliation,” he said.

He called on outside forces connected to the rebels in Chad to help restrain them, and said elections foreshadowed in a peace accord, signed in the country last August, should be allowed to go ahead.

The EU’s High Representative responsible for external relations, Javier Solana, has reaffirmed (4.2.08) a European Union peace-keeping force set to go to Chad by May this year, would still be sent.

The 3700 troops, expected to be mostly from France, would be separate from 1500 French soldiers currently based at N’Djamena, protecting foreign residents.

Mr Solana said at Brussels the Europeans would be going in, to protect people, and because Chad was important to the stability of the surrounding region.

The United Nations security Council lent support to the EU initiative, condemning the rebel offensive against N’Djamena.

France has previously intervened militarily to guarantee the survival of the present government of Chad, under the President, Idriss Deby.

The EU peace keepers are to occupy a wide area in the East of the country, bordering the Darfur region of neighbouring Sudan.

The political instability in Chad is linked to the refugee crisis in Darfour, with the governments of the two countries accusing each other of supporting the activities of rebel forces across their mutual frontier.

Reference:

EC, “Le Commissaire européen Louis Michel condamne la tentative de prise de pouvoir au Tchad” (European Commissioner Louis Michel condemnes the attempted seizure of power in Chad), Brussels, 1.2.08, IP/08/177.

Javier Solana, interview, BBC World Service Radio, news, 4.2.08.

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