- Title: CHAD: FRANCE FLIES BOXES OF UNITED NATIONS MEDICAL AID FOR DARFUR REFUGEES
- Date: 3rd August 2004
- Summary: (U7)ABECHE, CHAD (AUGUST 3, 2004) (REUTERS-ACCESS ALL) 1. SLV FRENCH SOLDIERS UNLOADING BOXES OF MEDICAL AID FROM PLANE 0.05 2. CLOSE UP SOLDIERS CARRYING BOXES 0.08 3. SLV SOLDIERS STANDING BY BOXES/ PLANE IN THE BACKGROUND 0.14 4. SLV ARMED FRENCH SOLDIERS IN CAMP 0.18 5. SCU (SOUNDBITE)(French) COLONEL BARRERA COMMANDER OF 200 FRENCH TROOPS, SAYING: "If we encounter the Janjaweed, and see that they harm the refugees, we will answer back with the same way they will attack us and we will not let them do something bad to the refugees." 0.35 6. CLOSE UP OF SOLDIERS BY TRUCK 0.39 7. SCU (SOUNDBITE)(French)COLONEL BARRERA COMMANDER OF 200 FRENCH TROOPS, SAYING: "We are deployed between Abeche and the border, mainly around the refugee camps, not guarding the border, to support with the humanitarian aid and for security." 0.53 8. WIDE OF SOLDIERS LOADING BOXES OF MEDICAL AID ONTO TRUCKS 0.58 9. SLV / SCU SOLDIERS LOADING BOXES INTO TRUCK 1.07 10. CLOSE OF BOXES LABELLED VACCINES / CLOSE OF LABEL 1.12 11. VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS LOADING ON TRUCK 1.16 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 18th August 2004 13:00
- Location: ABECHE, CHAD
- Country: Chad
- Reuters ID: LVA5B9XSWKCRVHYB5NY24F3JVM2I
- Story Text: France flies a planeload of UN aid into eastern Chad
where French soldiers prepare to deploy from their base in
Abeche towards the border with Sudan's Darfur region.
France on Saturday (July 31) flew a planeload of
United Nations aid into eastern Chad where French soldiers
prepared to deploy from their base in Abeche towards the
border with Sudan's Darfur region.
French troops in fatigues loaded metal containers and
cardboard boxes containing radio equipment and humanitarian
supplies onto two white United Nations trucks parked in
Jean-Pierre Bercot, France's ambassador to Chad, told a
news conference in the capital N'Djamena that 200 soldiers
would deploy to the frontier with Sudan to help the aid
effort and watch out for incursions from Darfur by Arab
militias, known as the Janjaweed.
"If we encounter the Janjaweed, and see that they harm
the refugees, we will answer back with the same way they
will attack us and we will not let them do something bad to
the refugees," Colonel Barrera, commander for 200 French
troops already based in Chad for that last 20 years, said
on Tuesday (August 3).
"We are deployed between abeche and the border, mainly
around the refugee camps, not guarding the border, to
support with the humanitarian aid and for security,"
Some 180,000 people have fled fighting in Darfur and a
million more are displaced inside western Sudan. Aid groups
estimate as many as 450,000 are within 100 km (60 miles) of
the border to Chad and could easily end up there.
The U.N. Security Council voted on Friday (July 30) for
a resolution threatening to clamp sanctions on Sudan in 30
days if it does not disarm and prosecute the marauding
militia in Darfur.
Sudan rejected the move as "misguided".
Darfur rebels accuse the government of arming the
Janjaweed to loot and burn African villages. Sudan denies
this and says it is improving security and distribution.
Major Patrick Ponzoni, commander of the base in Abeche
where some 150 French soldiers are stationed, said about 40
would head off on a reconnaissance mission on Sunday
(August 1) to make contact with aid groups, local
communities and refugees camped near Sudan. The French troops will
also provide logistical help to
an African Union observer team due to deploy in the area.
The French flight on Saturday was the first of a series
of rotations from the capital and comes just a day after
President Jacques Chirac called on French soldiers
stationed in their former central African colony to
Aid workers in Abeche, who are fighting to get supplies
out to the camps down bumpy, dirt roads, often made
impassable by flooded riverbeds, were grateful for the
"What this essentially has meant is this has saved us
easily, I would say, between two to three weeks of travel
time overland through the desert. So this has gained us two
to three weeks of valuable time," said Craig Sanders,
co-ordinator of emergency operations in eastern Chad for
the United Nation's refugee agency (UNHCR).
However some aid workers in the town said it was
frustrating that France, with a military base on their
doorstep, had not provided more logistical support earlier
in the crisis.
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