Chad to send troops to Central African Republic

Report
from Pan African News Agency
Published on 19 Mar 2003
N'djamena, Chad (PANA) - Chad has decided to send troops to neighbouring Central African Republic to join the peacekeeping force stationed in Bangui by the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC)
"At the request of CEMAC, Chad has decided to send units of its national armed forces to the Central African Republic," said the government spokesman and communication minister Moukhtar Wawa Dahab in a statement read on national radio Tuesday evening.

The role of the Chadian troops will be to provide security for Residents of Bangui city, says the minister's statement obtained by PANA in N'djamena Tuesday evening.

In that statement, the government expressed concern over the events which broke out in the CAR on 15 March 2003 and reaffirmed Chad's commitment to the rules and principles of the United Nations, the African Union, CEN-SAD and CEMAC.

"Under these serious circumstances", the Chadian government reiterated its right to protect "its nationals in the Central African Republic."

The Chadian government decision follows a request by the coup leader in Bangui, General Francois Bozize on all countries in the sub-region to contribute more troops to the CEMAC force in Bangui.

However, certain observers here regard Bozize's "suspicious request" as an attempt to legitimise the presence of Chadian troops, which reportedly helped him topple President Ange-Felix Patasse on 15 March 2003.

The Chadian government, which has so far denied any involvement in the CAR conflict, has not commented on these allegations.

Pan African News Agency:
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