Monday

10th May 2021

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

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe 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.

Exclusive

Hungary gags EU ministers on China

EU countries have shelved plans to issue a statement of moral support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong - due to Hungary's veto. Hungary is a major beneficiary of Chinese investment, including the building of a new university in Budapest.

EU now 'open' to vaccine waiver, after Biden U-turn

The European Union is now ready to discuss the proposal to waive temporarily intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines - following the historic decision by Washington in favour of easing patent rules.

News in Brief

  1. Report: Czech minister plotted to bury evidence on Russian attack
  2. Putin promotes Russia's 'Kalashnikov-like' vaccine
  3. Coronavirus: Indian variant clusters found across England
  4. UN report encourages EU methane cuts
  5. EU court upholds ban on bee-harming pesticides
  6. Israeli tourists welcomed back by EU
  7. EU duped into funding terrorist group, Israel says
  8. Brussels prepares portfolio of potential Covid-19 treatments

EU now 'open' to vaccine waiver, after Biden U-turn

The European Union is now ready to discuss the proposal to waive temporarily intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines - following the historic decision by Washington in favour of easing patent rules.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. EU ambassadors flock to Red Square for Putin's parade
  2. MEPs win battle for bigger citizens' voice at Conference
  3. Hungary gags EU ministers on China
  4. Poland and Hungary push back on 'gender equality' pre-summit
  5. EU preparing to send soldiers to Mozambique
  6. EU now 'open' to vaccine waiver, after Biden U-turn
  7. EU mulls using new 'peace' fund to help Libyan coast guard
  8. Poland 'breaks EU law' over judges, EU court opinion says

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us