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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.