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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs