Wednesday

17th Jul 2019

Chad rebels say French EU peacekeepers 'not neutral'

Chad's rebels have warned the EU not to send peacekeepers to the country, fearing the troops will not be neutral in the dispute between them and General Idriss Deby, the country's ruler.

The rebel alliance issued a statement on Monday (11 February) from Gabon saying they do not trust a force composed mainly of French troops, the former colonial master. They believe the troops will be there to support the Deby government.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

European commanders say they are to remain neutral and are only there to ensure the safety of refugees displaced from Sudan's Darfur region and due to other regional conflicts.

Deployment of a European peacekeeping force, EUFOR-Chad-CAR, was delayed at the start of February when rebels made a lightning advance on the capital, N'Djamena.

However, the N'Djamena airport reopened on Monday, permitting deployment of the 3,700-strong EU force.

A spokesperson for the force said that if the airport allowed EUFOR-Chad-CAR's cargo planes to land, the deployment could resume today (12 February), according to an AFP report.

During the rebel advance, French troops on the ground offered medical and logistical support to government forces.

France has denied reports in their domestic press that French special forces have already engaged in combat with rebels.

French daily La Croix reported that Deby's forces pushed rebels back from the capital with help from members of the French special operations command.

Responding to the reports, French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner said: "There was no involvement of the French special forces - not by Thursday night, in any case," according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, the 400 Irish troops that are taking part in the deployment have been told they will be viewed as a hostile force if they arrive along with the French troops. The rebels have called on Ireland to pull out of the EU force, according to the Irish Times.

"If EUFOR is made up of forces other than French, we don't have a problem with it," a rebel spokesperson said, the Irish daily reports.

Von der Leyen's final appeal to secure top EU post

European Commission presidential-hopeful Ursula von Der Leyen delivered her key appeal in the European Parliament to secure the post. Her appeal appeared to appease most of the political groups - but a lack of specifics, and opposition from Greens remain.

Poland's ex-PM loses EU parliament chair again

Poland's former prime minister, Beata Szydlo, has cried foul after failing to get an EP committee chair a second time, in a fiasco which could spell trouble for the European Commission presidency vote on Tuesday.

News in Brief

  1. Ansip's ex-cabinet chief to head EU cybersecurity agency
  2. Malta starts trial of journalist murder suspects
  3. Full text of von der Leyen candidacy speech to MEPs
  4. Von der Leyen open to further Brexit delay
  5. Von der Leyen promises carbon border tax
  6. Brexit: both UK PM candidates say Irish backstop is 'dead'
  7. Mogherini: Iran's nuclear enrichment 'reversible'
  8. Report: Selmayr to leave 'next week'

Opinion

Weber: Six proposals in wake of Spitzenkandidat process

I will not lament the decision-making process that resulted in a package deal on the new leadership in Europe. I respect this result, which was in accordance with the treaties and therefore not undemocratic, albeit unsatisfactory.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. European Commission has first ever woman president
  2. Son: Malta trial for murdered journalist 'not enough'
  3. Von der Leyen's final appeal to secure top EU post
  4. EU talks tough on Turkey, but arms sales go on
  5. The Abortion Exodus - more Poles and Croats going abroad
  6. Poland's ex-PM loses EU parliament chair again
  7. Von der Leyen reaches out to left and liberal MEPs
  8. Farmers among new MEPs deciding on EU farming money

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us