After suspending their peacekeeping mission during fighting in Chad in February, EUFOR planes began landing in Abeche Tuesday to protect refugees fleeing Darfur.
The European Union resumed deployment Tuesday of a peacekeeping force to Chad, which was suspended at the beginning of the month when rebels stormed the capital Ndjamena, a military spokesman said.
"A Hercules C-130 transport aircraft landed at 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) in Abeche with equipment aboard, marking the effective resumption of the deployment," the spokesman said by telephone from the force's headquarters near Paris.
The flight, which left from an unspecified European country, "will be followed in coming days by others to Ndjamena and Abeche, notably advance soldiers who will prepare the arrival of the bulk of the force," he said.
Deployment of the 3,700-strong EUFOR peacekeeping mission to Chad and the Central African Republic was suspended less than a week after it began in late January when rebels opposed to President Idriss Deby Itno reached the capital.
The force has been tasked with protecting refugees from Sudan's war-torn Darfur region near Chad's eastern border, as well as Chadians and people of the neighbouring Central African Republic displaced by internal conflict.
The United Nations estimates 200,000 people have died in Darfur and two million have been displaced.
Date created : 2008-02-12