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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Chad Peacekeepers and Aid Plan May Confuse Local Chadians

Chad: Dual Peacekeeping Mission Seeks to Dispel Confusion
11 January 2008
Posted to the web 12 January 2008
Ndjamena

With Chadian rebel groups constantly changing, inter-communal fighting frequently breaking out, and tension with neighbouring Sudan increasing, some humanitarian officials in Chad fear the planned presence of simultaneous UN and European Union (EU) police and military forces will only add to the confusion.

"We have our questions about the deployment," said Guinlhelm Molinie, head of Médecins Sans Frontières Luxembourg, which works in northeastern Chad. "We don't know if it's to protect humanitarians, refugees, the areas of return, the east of Chad. The official line varies."

"We are waiting to see how this force will act on the ground and whether it will do any good. We have some doubts about it, that's for sure."

The concerns about confusion are understandable, according to Lt-Col Jan Vall, deputy chief of the military liaison officers of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT). Vall is charged with coordinating between the UN mission and the other forces on the ground.
"It will be very complicated for the [local] people to manage and for humanitarians - for everyone - to know the difference," he agreed.

  • "I will be there in uniform, without arms, with a UN logo.
  • The EU will be there with arms, with the EU logo.
  • The French [troops stationed in Chad for more than two decades and who support Chadian President Idriss Déby] will be there, with the same uniforms as the French working for the EU, but with a French logo, and with a different interest, etc., etc,"

Vall told IRIN

The Rest @ AllAfrica

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