PoliticsPolitics, security

Chad’s President threatens to withdraw troops from military operations in Africa

Idriss Déby, Chad's President says his country will be obliged to withdraw from military operations in Africa if nothing is…

Idriss Déby, Chad’s President says his country will be obliged to withdraw from military operations in Africa if nothing is done to help it financially.

Deby, whose country has been an important ally in the fight against Islamist militants made the statement in an interview he granted RFI , TV5 Monde , and the daily newspaper Le Monde.

“We have not been supported financially, economically at all. If nothing is done, if it continues, Chad will be obliged to withdraw “from outside operations on the continent, the president said.

“We can not continue to be everywhere”

In Mali, Chad is the third largest contingent of the United Nations Mission in Mali (Minusma) , with 1,390 men. In addition, 2,000 Chadian soldiers are engaged in the mixed multinational force, created jointly by Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon in 2015 to fight the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram.

“We can not continue to be everywhere, in Niger, Cameroon, Mali. All this costs too much, “he continued.

Concerning the formation of the G5 Sahel joint force, the Chadian president expressed his reluctance to participate in Chad, arguing that he could not “have 1,400 men in Mali  and at the same time have 2,000 soldiers in the G5 Sahel” .

“We can not do both at the same time, being in the G5 Sahel and at the same time in another mission on the same theater,” said the head of state, in power since 1990.

“We have reached the end of our limits”

In February in Bamako, the heads of state of the G5 Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad) announced the creation of a joint military force to stop the expansion of jihadist groups in the region.

A resolution welcoming the deployment of this force was adopted Wednesday at the UN Security Council.

“I am absolutely certain that the Chadians are disappointed. They believe that Chad has done too much, that it has to withdraw. We have reached our limits, “said Déby.

“2018 will be a defining year. By the end of 2017 and early 2018, if this situation were to continue, Chad would no longer be able to keep as many soldiers outside its territory, “he said.

Chad has for several years been plagued by a severe economic and social crisis, aggravated by low oil prices.