A body identified as that of the French peacekeeper gone missing on Monday has been found in Sudan, near the Chad border, Sudan has confirmed. A EUFOR spokesman said he could not confirm until the body is formally identified. (Report: N.Rushworth)
Sudanese authorities have found a body, believed to be that of a French soldier missing in Sudan, near the Chad border, the headquarters of the European peacekeeping force in Chad said Wednesday.
"The Sudanese authorities have informed the local EU representative in Khartoum that remains discovered near the Chadian border are believed to be that of a French member of the European peacekeeping force who has been missing since March 3," the EUFOR force statement said.
"The arrangements for the formal identification and recovery of the remains are currently being organised," the force said in the statement, from its headquarters near Paris.
The unnamed commando went missing on Monday when at least one vehicle taking part in the EU's mission to Chad crossed into Sudan. An exchange of fire followed in which a Sudanese soldier and a civilian were killed and a French soldier wounded, but details on the incident remain sketchy.
Sudan had warned EUFOR it had no mandate to cross the border into Sudan.
The force commander, Irish General Patrick Nash, on Tuesday appealed for Sudanese assistance in the search for the missing soldier, while expressing regret for an "inadvertent crossing" of the border.
He stated that EUFOR "carries out its mandate in full respect of the sovereignty of the Sudanese border".
The ongoing deployment of the force remains unaffected, he stressed.
The 14-nation EUFOR mission of 3,700 troops began deploying to Chad and the Central African Republic last month after a delay caused by a rebel assault on the Chadian capital.
Of that total 2,000 will be French troops. So far some 700 have been deployed as the force builds up its strength.
Date created : 2008-03-05