Saturday, July 31, 2004

French help (?) in Sudan 

France has moved 200 troops to Chad's border with Sudan.

France is deploying 200 soldiers to help secure Chad's eastern border with Sudan's conflict-torn Darfur region.

The French Ambassador to Chad, Jean Pierre Bercot, said the troops would also bring humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of Darfur refugees in Chad...

Ambassador Bercot told the BBC from Chad's capital, N'Djamena, that 200 French soldiers would now be deployed to Chad's eastern frontier with Sudan to help the aid effort and watch out for possible incursions.
This is good news, as long as the mission is what Ambassador Bercot says it is.

Before I go on, let me say that I am an unabashed lover of France as a country and its people. The government completely bewilders me, however, and I'm always a bit suspicious of French intentions. I have been ever since Operation Turquoise in Rwanda ended up trapping Tutsis in the killing zones and prevented them from fleeing to safety. I'll wait to see how France defines "incursions," since refugees are crossing the border into Chad as well as militia raiders. Hopefully they'll be allowing the former to cross and preventing the latter.

It sounds good on the surface, though, so I'll give France the benefit of the doubt for now. Sometimes even the French say they're helping and they really mean it.
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