The first contingent of United Nations-trained Chadian army troops will begin their deployment to the east of the country today to help protect refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in the volatile region.
Some 100 members of the contingent, known as the Détachement intégré de Sécurité (DIS), will leave from the capital, N'Djamena, in batches of 25, according to a press release issued by the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) yesterday.
The DIS troops will be under the leadership of a central commander and two deputies, and have been trained by MINURCAT to provide security in the many camps for refugees and IDPs scattered across eastern Chad.
The camps collectively contain 250,000 refugees and 180,000 IDPs fleeing conflict and insecurity in Chad, the CAR or the neighbouring Darfur region of western Sudan.
MINURCAT has just completed training an additional 111 members of the DIS, adding to the 320 others who have already been trained. Eventually a total of 850 DIS members will be trained by the mission.
Set up in September last year, MINURCAT includes a multi-dimensional UN presence and a European Union military force (EUFOR) that are jointly trying to bring stability to eastern Chad and north-eastern CAR, which have been beset by widespread fighting and civilian displacement in recent years.