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de Brún calls for genuinely neutral peace-keeping force in Chad

13 March, 2008


As the European Parliament debates the situation in Chad, Bairbre de Brún MEP has called on the Irish government to " rethink its position on this operation, and withdraw Irish forces pending the putting together of a genuinely neutral peace-keeping force".

Speaking in Strasbourg, de Brún said:

"I would like to express my condolences to the family of the French soldier who was killed while on duty with EUFOR in Chad. It could so easily have been an Irish soldier who died as many in Chad do not make the distinction between this force and the French soldiers who are there supporting the government in Chad which has been criticised heavily by Amnesty International.

"The danger with the EUFOR mission is that the French are not seen as being neutral in the conflict. On the contrary they are very much seen to be propping up the discredited and corrupt regime of Idriss Deby,

"Ireland has gained respect and credibility in the international community due to its support for the process of decolonisation of Africa. We are throwing that away in order to support French interests in Chad.

"The Irish government needs to rethink its position on this operation, and withdraw Irish forces pending the putting together of a genuinely neutral peace-keeping force." ENDS

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