Some 2,000 European Union soldiers currently shouldering peacekeeping duties in Chad will transfer to a United Nations force. A roughly 5,000-strong UN military force dubbed MINURCAT II is due to take up the peacekeeping task this Sunday of protecting some 450,000 refugees and civilians in the region, who fled violence in neighbouring Sudan.
The European Union deployed 3,300 peacekeepers in eastern Chad and the Central African Republic last February – EUFOR. There has been no sign of the Darfur conflict easing off; Experts have reported increasing banditry and threats to aid supplies. The international humanitarian agency Oxfam has said EUFOR has not been able to perform as intended.