Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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West Africa: UAE Deploys Military Vehicles to Chad

Harare — The United Arab Emirates dispatched military vehicles and other security equipment to Chad, the oil-rich Gulf nation announced, saying it was in order to help with border security and counter-terrorism activities.

Niger, where one of the few pro-Western leaders in the terror-racked Sahel region was overthrown in a coup in July, is a neighbour to Chad. Earlier, Mahamat Idriss Déby, the head of the armed forces and interim President of Chad, travelled to Niger to meet with the coup plotters holding the country’s elected leader, Barzoum. Since Chad is not an ECOWAS member, Deby is viewed as impartial.

The Emirati and Chadian flags were draped over two of the armored vehicles in a photo published by the UAE’s Emirates News Agency (WAM). The vehicles are produced by the Emirati company NIMR.

Without going into specifics, WAM reported that the UAE “sent a shipment of military vehicles and security equipment to the Republic of Chad, to support its capabilities in combating terrorism and enhancing border protection”.

According to WAM, the two nations inked a military co-operation deal in June during a visit by General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, president of Chad, who has been in office since his father, Idriss Deby Itno, died from wounds sustained while battling insurgents more than two years ago. Several bilateral agreements were inked between the two countries, including the agreement on military cooperation.

According to N’Djamena, Chad “received armored vehicles in the framework of military cooperation between Chad and the Emirates”.

The UAE has been expanding its relations with African countries while simultaneously growing its own military industry.

In response to the July 26 coup that overthrew Mohamed Bazoum as president of Niger, a group of West African countries – the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – warned that military action will be taken in response to the coup, which was denounced by the United States and other Western governments.

Earlier, Bazoum pleaded with the international community for help.

“In our hour of need, I call on the U.S. government and the entire international community to help us restore our constitutional order. Fighting for our shared values, including democratic pluralism and respect for the rule of law, is the only way to make sustainable progress against poverty and terrorism. The Nigerien people will never forget your support at this pivotal moment in our history,” he said.

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