In English

Togo to send 200 soldiers to Minurcat

Togo will send a 200-strong contingent to the UN peacekeeping mission to be deployed in Chad and Central African Republic bordering Sudan, state radio reported on Thursday.

Togolese army chief Zakari Nandja was quoted as saying the contingent will go to Chad in less than three weeks as part of the UN mission known as Minurcat.The soldiers will be stationed in the Chadian capital N'Djamena and another city Abeche to protect refugees fleeing the conflict in neighboring Sudan, the report said.

Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe attended an official ceremony on Thursday for peacekeepers to join Minurcat.

Last month, the UN Security Council approved the deployment of the 5,500-strong MINURCAT to replace European troops in Chad and Central African Republic until March 15, 2010.

According to UN officials, eastern Chad faces an acute humanitarian challenge with more than 290,000 Sudanese refugees from the Darfur conflict in need of food, water and health care. The northern part of Central African Republic is also affected by a spill-over from the conflict.

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