France has delayed the withdrawal of its troops from Chad following a request from new transitional government.
France has delayed the withdrawal of its troops from Chad following a request from new transitional government. The entire French contingent of two-and-a-half thousand troops was to have been pulled out of the peace settlement between Chad's warring factions. However, the French will remain until an African peace keeping force is established.
SYNOPSIS: The government request for the troops to stay came as 400 French soldiers were being flown out of the capital, N'Djamena.
A French contingent has been stationed in Chad since it became independent form France in 1960.
The withdrawal was part of a peace plan worked out in Lagos last month between Chad's nine warring factions. It was also one of the conditions for the establishment of a transitional government.
The agreement ended a long-standing feud in the former French colony which erupted in civil war last February. Tens of thousands of people died in the fighting. Under the settlement plan there'll be free elections within eighteen months.
The remaining French soldiers will stay in Chad until the arrival of the African peace keeping force. Composed of Congolese and Guinean troops it will take over the task of keeping the peace between the country's rival factions.