INTRODUCTION: Zairean paratroops, the vanguard of the pan-African peacekeeping force to be installed in Chad, have arrived in the capital of N'djamena.
N'DJAMENA, CHAD (VISNEWS - ERIC BOURBOTTE)
GV Zairean troops on tarmac at N'djamena airport
GV People waiting on tarmac
CU & SV Zairean troops stand at attention (4 shots)
CU Parachute Regiment badge PULL BACK TO GV troops standing at attention
SV Troops at attention singing
Background: INTRODUCTION: Zairean paratroops, the vanguard of the pan-African peacekeeping force to be installed in Chad, have arrived in the capital of N'djamena. The force replaces Libyan troops who had been called into Chad by President Goukouni Oueddei last December to help crush opposition from former Defence Minister Hissene Habre and his followers.
SYNOPSIS: Many of the 700 Zairean troops have been stationed at N'djamena's small airport since their arrival almost two weeks ago, the day the Libyan troops withdrew at President Oueddei's request. The peacekeeping force will eventually number between 5,000 and 6,000 troops from six countries.
The arrival of the Zaireans in Chad has reportedly irritated the Nigerians, who will provide 2,000 troops, Informed sources said Nigeria wanted to re-group the various units of the force in northern Nigeria before dispatching them to Chad. Nigerian General G.O. Ejiga will command the peacekeeping force. The early dispatch of the Zairean troops is believed to be the reason why Nigerian President Shehu Shagari refused to attend a summit to finalise plans for deploying the entire force. The meeting was later postponed.
The pan-African peacekeeping force will not be the first to be installed in Chad. In 1979, as an uneasy truce was called between the army under President Oueddei and Mr. Hissene Habre's so-called Armed Forces of the North, a Nigerian army continent entered Chad. This peacekeeping force remained in the country for a month to be replaced by Congolese troops who stayed for three months. The Zairean troops in N'djamena will soon be joined by others from Senegal. A contingent of commandos and parachutists who will leave for Chad next Friday (4 December). Logistical support for the peacekeeping force has been promised by France and Gabon.
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