The Norwegian government has announced that it will withdraw all of its UN peacekeeping troops from Chad at the end of their mandate in May.
“It was a clear understanding that this was a one-year project when we entered into these commitments,” said the Norwegian Defence Minister Grete Faremo in a report by Norway News.
Norway has supplied 154 soldiers across two troop units as part of the UN Stabilising Force in Chad, with one unit managing a water-well drilling operation and the other in charge of a field hospital. The cost of the deployment is estimated at NOK 500 million (USD 85 million) according to the report.
The announcement of the withdrawal comes on the back of similar announcements by both Austria and Poland, who removed their respective forces from Chad in December. The situation in the landlocked African republic has been worsening over recent months, highlighted by an attack last week on a UN peacekeeping convoy where one soldier was wounded according to Martin Nesirky, a UN spokesperson.
The UN is currently coordinating missions in conjunction with its humanitarian partners to provide aid to some half a million displaced people and refugees; the majority being from Sudan’s Darfur region and the Central African Republic. Chad has been in the midst of a humanitarian crisis that has been ongoing since 2001.
The withdrawal follows previous involvement by Norway in providing aid to Malawi’s earthquake victims and assisting political referenda in Sudan.