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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora