EU Chad mission has first casualty

Don Lavery

The EU military mission to Chad known as EUFOR and headed up by Irish general Pat Nash has suffered its first casualty.

The force headquarters in Paris said yesterday that the Sudanese authorities in Khartoum have informed the EU representative capital that remains discovered near the Chadian border are believed to be those of a French soldier from the peacekeeping force who went missing on Monday.

Lt Gen Nash had appealed for Sudanese assistance after a French special forces soldier went missing in the three border regions of Chad, Sudan and the Central African Republic.

The general expressed regret for the inadvertent crossing of the Sudanese border by a single EUFOR Landrover-type vehicle which became detached from the main body and "unfortunately strayed unintentionally into Sudan".

He said EUFOR carries out its mandate in full respect of the sovereignty of the Sudanese border.

The general said the on-going deployment of the force remained unaffected by the incident.

He reiterated the operation's mandate to provide a safe and secure environment to facilitate humanitarian aid workers and UN personnel in carrying out their work in eastern Chad.