Friday

24th Feb 2017

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

Opinion

Don't blame Trump for Europe's insecurity

Europe's security architecture was already showing cracks well before Trump's arrival and requires urgent repair work whether he had won or not.

News in Brief

  1. Labour ousts Ukip in Brexit homeland
  2. Dutch lower house approves EU-Ukraine treaty
  3. WTO says Russian pork ban was illegal
  4. Belgian nuclear plant made 'significant progress' on safety
  5. Report: Commission gauging EU support for Poland sanctions
  6. Irish PM expected to quit amid police scandal
  7. After Brexit vote, 100,000 UK firms registered in Ireland
  8. Bayrou to support Macron in French presidential election

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  2. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  3. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  4. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  5. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  6. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  7. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  8. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  10. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  11. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  12. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year

Latest News

  1. Don't blame Trump for Europe's insecurity
  2. EU rules out post-Brexit 'hard border' with Northern Ireland
  3. Fewer EU pupils being taught two foreign languages
  4. Women and child refugees face abuse in French camp
  5. Russian military creates 'information force'
  6. Spain MPs to probe €60bn bank bailouts
  7. Crowded race to win EU medicines agency
  8. Fighting environmental injustice in Europe