Illustration – Photo: Facebook (Hungarian Defence Forces)

Defence Minister: Government to send military mission to Chad

The Hungarian government will send a military mission to Chad with the aim to help bring migration under control and provide humanitarian assistance, the defence minister said on Friday.

“We live in an age full of threats. We are seeing the second serious armed conflict unfolding and an influx of millions of migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan to Europe,” Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky told a press conference, adding that terrorism had also become a threat.

Chad, a country in the Sahel region, has a key role in containing migration from Africa, the minister said, noting that terrorists organisations had recently become more active in the region. “Chad has remained the only stable state there, and holds many migrants arriving from other African countries,” he said, adding that instability in Chad could trigger an wave of further hundreds of millions to Europe.

He criticised Brussels over its failure to act to contain migration and protect Europe’s borders “despite Hungary’s repeated calls since the beginning”. “No steps have been taken over the past eight years while immigrants keep flowing in along the migration routes.”

“The problem is getting worse. So we need to provide help,” Szalay-Bobrovniczky said.

Hungary will provide help asked for by the Chadian president in form of “a complex package” that includes humanitarian assistance, a medical mission and agricultural development support.

There are US and French forces in Chad, but “Hungary will have a mission on its own”, he said.

A draft decree on the military mission planned to be deployed in 2024 will be submitted to parliament at the beginning of next week, the minister said. If parliament approves it, preparations would get under way to train a force of at least 200 troops, he said.

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