Chad to pull peace­keep­ers from Cen­tral African Repub­lic

Daily Trust - - AFRICA -

Chad is to pull its peace­keep­ers from an African Union mis­sion in the Cen­tral African Repub­lic (CAR) in protest at claims that they aided rebels.

A state­ment from the Cha­dian for­eign min­istry said its troops had been crit­i­cised de­spite their sac­ri­fices.

Chad has con­trib­uted roughly 850 soldiers to a 6,000-strong con­tin­gent.

Its forces have been ac­cused of sid­ing with Mus­lim rebels whose oust­ing of the CAR govern­ment last year was fol­lowed by a wave of re­li­gious vi­o­lence.

The rebels, who call them­selves Seleka, seized power last March. Their leader stepped down in Jan­uary amid spi­ralling at­tacks and counter-at­tacks be­tween groups claim­ing to rep­re­sent dif­fer­ent faiths.

Re­cently, thou­sands of Mus­lims, a mi­nor­ity in CAR, have been flee­ing to neigh­bour­ing Chad and Cameroon af­ter be­ing tar­geted by Chris­tian mili­tias.

The Cha­dian state­ment said its forces had been the vic­tims of “a gra­tu­itous and ma­li­cious cam­paign” to blame them for “all the suf­fer­ing in CAR”.

The state­ment said the forces would re­main in CAR while the de­tails of the with­drawal were be­ing worked out.

The ousted pres­i­dent of Chad, Fran­cois Boz­ize, told the BBC last year that Cha­dian troops had helped drive him from of­fice - a claim that Chad has de­nied.

Cha­dian troops make up a size­able part of the African Union’s con­tin­gent in CAR.

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