France has asked for Sudan's help to find a soldier who went missing following a skirmish near the Chadian border, Defence Minister Herve Morin said on Tuesday. (Story: R. Ranucci)
The commander of the EU's mission to Chad, General Patrick Nash, on Tuesday appealed for Sudanese assistance in the search for a missing French soldier, expressing regret for an "inadvertent crossing" of the border.
The EU peacekeeping mission in Chad reported the soldier missing late Monday after troops "accidentally" crossed the remote, unmarked border from southeastern Chad into Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur region.
Nash, in a statement released by the force's headquarters in France, expressed his "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 stated that EUFOR "carries out its mandate in full respect of the sovereignty of the Sudanese border" and made an appeal "for Sudanese assistance for information as to his possible whereabouts".
Nash expressed concern for the missing EUFOR peacekeeper who is serving as part of the EUFOR European Union peacekeeping force in eastern Chad and the Central African Republic.
The ongoing deployment of the force remains unaffected, the statement stressed.
Irish Lieutenant General Nash reiterated the mission's mandate to "provide a safe and secure environment to facilitate humanitarian aid workers and UN personnel in carrying out their work with internally displaced persons and refugees in eastern Chad."
The 14-nation EUFOR mission of 3,700 troops to Chad and the CAR deployed last month after a delay caused by a rebel assault on the Chadian capital.
Date created : 2008-03-04