Swedish parliament approves Chad force

Sweden's parliament on Wednesday voted to send some 200 troops to Chad and the Central African Republic as part of a humanitarian EU mission to protect refugees from neighbouring Darfur.

The force, to number around 3,000 troops in total, will help secure refugee camps along Chad’s border with Sudan’s Darfur region where fighting since 2003 has left more than 200,000 dead and displaced two million, according to UN figures.

“Sweden’s planned military contribution, an infantry company, is expected to amount to 200 people. For unexpected reinforcement and evacuation needs, the Swedish contingent may need to be temporarily expanded, but to a maximum of 490 people,” a statement from parliament said.

The Swedish contingent will be sent for a maximum of six months, it added.

France is to provide the bulk of combat troops to the mission, with Ireland, the Netherlands and Poland, among others, also participating.