France’s defence minister Herve Morin flew to Chad today in a show of support for President Idriss Deby, who survived a weekend assault on the capital N’Djamena by rebels seeking to topple him.
The visit came as Paris, which has warplanes and more than 1,000 troops stationed in its former central African colony, threw its weight behind Mr Deby. After obtaining UN Security Council backing for Mr Deby’s government, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said yesterday his country could intervene if called upon against the rebels, whom Chad says are backed by Sudan. Khartoum denies this.
In Paris, a defence ministry source said Mr Morin would meet Mr Deby, whose forces held off a rebel attack on the presidential palace at the weekend.
refugees and displaced civilians in eastern Chad.
Irish troops will not begin their deployment to Chad as part of a delayed EU mission until next week at the earliest, it was announced yesterday. The EU mission, known as EUfor, is charged with protecting Darfuri
An advance team for the EU mission is already in Chad, but the first three major flights of troops and equipment were cancelled last week as fighting erupted close to N’Djamena. A contingent of 54 Irish military personnel bound for Chad was forced to turn back before they left Ireland.
A spokesman for EU for said the mission would continue its deployment when circumstances permitted.