News

    Analysts Question Benefits of EU Deployment in Chad and CAR

    Multimedia

    Audio

    As European forces begin to deploy in Chad and the Central African Republic, analysts say they are worried about the logistics of the peacekeeping operation. They are also expressing concerns about the presence of the former colonial power, France. Jade Heilmann has more from our West and Central Africa bureau in Dakar.

    Twenty soldiers left Austria heading for Chad, as the European Union slowly builds its 3,700-member peacekeeping force in Chad and the Central African Republic.

    Rolake Akinola, an Africa analyst with the London-based group, Control Risks, believes this is one of the most ambitious peacekeeping missions ever in Africa.

    The aim is to help secure the porous borders along Sudan's warring Darfur region, amid inter-communal fighting and massive displacements spilling from one country to the next.

    "It will certainly help to preserve some level of stability and security especially from a solely humanitarian point of view. It could also serve as a measure of protection for refugees and people who have been displaced physically around that tri-border area. But also it might provide a much more conducive environment in which more substantial peace talks can take place," Akinola said.

    Chad's army is also still fighting against Chadian rebels. Tuesday, Chad's air force said it had bombed a Chadian rebel base in the east of the country, near Sudan's border.

    Both Chad and Sudan accuse each other of backing the rebellions they are fighting.

    Akinola says the last few months have been characterized by a lack of commitment to genuine peace talks, as well as an increase in rebel group activity, and that has made negotiations very difficult.

    Akinola says one main challenge facing the EU peacekeeping force could be a perception that it will be dominated by the interests of the former colonial power, France. French forces operating in Chad have been giving logistical assistance to its army.

    With an expected 2,100 soldiers, France's army will make up more that half the EU forces being deployed. Poland and Ireland plan to send 400 soldiers each. In all 14 countries are involved.

    Chadian rebel groups have already expressed their disapproval of the deployment, stating France is too close to President Idriss Deby. Akinola says that it is very important for France's role not to be overplayed.

    "I think the honors would be on the people who are managing and commanding that force to make sure that France's presence does not actually overshadow the real task at hand, on the ground, which is protecting refugees and implementing the U.N. Security Council Resolution, and the mandate that has been given to them by the United Nations," she continued.

    Since 2003, more than 200,000 Sudanese refugees are estimated to have fled into Chad. Violence within Chad has also forced the displacement of almost the same number of Chadians.

    This operation is intended to increase the security of refugee camps and of re-location sites in order to facilitate humanitarian work. To do so, the European Union will aid 300 U.N. officers in the training of 850 local police officers who will overlook the security of the camps.

    Paul Simon Hendy is an analyst for the South African based Institute for Security Studies. He believes a political plan to solve the situation is lacking.

    "It is lacking because without solving the political problem which is at the basis of all the other problems in Chad, Sudan and the Central African Republic, you will not solve the roots of the problem," he said.

    Hendy also believes not enough planning has gone into an exit strategy.

    "Today nobody talks about these exit strategies, but the European force might be caught there, might be stuck in the Chadian desert, and this will certainly also have political consequences," continued Hendy.

    EU officials have said the peacekeeping force will serve one year, and not a day more.

    Meanwhile, there have been problems in deploying a hybrid U.N.-African Union force in Sudan. U.N. officials say deployment of all 26,000 peacekeepers is facing months of delays due to conditions set by Sudan, rejecting some of the planned non-African contingents.

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora