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As violence in eastern Chad continues to increase at an alarming rate, leaving some 400,000 people vulnerable, there have been several delays in deploying a neutral European Union protection force of approximately 4,000 troops.
Additionally, planes, helicopters and medical units are still needed for the forces to be deployed, which EU members such as Austria, Greece and the Netherlands have failed to provide.
So far, France has pledged the largest number of troops, at least 1,350. The Irish Defense Forces plan to send 450 troops.
The United Nations Refugee Agency is operating a series of desert camps in eastern Chad for refugees displaced by the conflict, housing some 220,000 Sudanese and about 90,000 Chadians. Continued fighting in the east has made what the UN calls the “fragile humanitarian lifeline” vulnerable to collapse, endangering thousands of lives.
Elsewhere, Chad has several other borders at risk. To its north is Libya, where disputes over the Aouzou Strip have taken place in the past. To the south is the Central African Republic (CAR); due to its internal ethnic and political turmoil, nearly 46,000 CAR refugees have fled to southern Chad.