See also:
» 05.03.2010 - Chad PM resigns
» 18.02.2010 - Chad’s call for military withdrawal alarms UN
» 10.02.2010 - Sudan-Chad agree to end wars
» 12.01.2010 - DRC refugees a problem to neighbours
» 20.11.2009 - Cambodia troops arrive in CAR
» 19.10.2009 - Central Africa's peace process still a long way, Ban
» 07.10.2009 - $215 million endorsed to develop Central Africa's efficient internet
» 25.09.2009 - Help out in central Africa, Ban appeals

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Central Africa | Chad

Russian peacekeepers to be deployed in central Africa

afrol News, 1 September - Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has approved deployment of 200 Russian military peacekeeping contingent to Chad and neighboring Central African Republic in support of a United Nations mission in the region, government officials said.

The contingent will also include four Mi-8MT helicopters to be deployed in the conflict zone for up to a year.

The foreign ministers of 27 European Union member states approved in April a plan to send a peacekeeping mission to Chad and the Central African Republic.

The EUFOR contingent, comprising 3,700 servicemen from 14 EU countries, began a year-long UN mandate in March to help facilitate humanitarian work and protect Sudanese refugees and displaced Chadians.

Clashes between Chadian rebels, allegedly supported and armed by Sudan, and government troops have devastated region since 2003 when a loose coalition of three opposition groups whose leaders accuse president Idriss Deby of corruption and embezzling millions of dollars in oil revenue.

President Deby who has ruled former French colony since seizing power in a 1990 revolt, has survived rebel assault earlier this year earlier.

In June, Chadian president slammed EUpeacekeepers for backing rebels and failing to protect civilians as rebel's attacks upsurge.

Russia has already deployed a helicopter support group in neighboring Sudan. It currently comprises 120 personnel and four Mi-8 helicopters, reequipped to UN and international standards. The group provides transport for UN military observers in Sudan, while also transporting and accompanying cargoes. It also carries out rescue operations.

Chad gained independence from France in 1960. Since 2003 relations between Sudan and Chad soured, as each country has over the years reportedly accused one another of supporting rebel factions fighting against their respective regimes.

Eastern Chad is a temporary home to some 300,000 Sudan refugees who have fled conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region and over 180 000 Chadians displaced by war between government and rebels.

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