Two hundred more troops set for Chad

Another 200 Irish soldiers are tonight preparing for deployment to Chad.

The members of 102 Battalion will depart for the troubled African state on Sunday to protect the lives of tens of thousands of refugees.

The tour of duty is expected to last four months despite Chad recently asking the United Nations not to renew the mandate of its mission next month.

The first half of the 400 strong Battalion, which is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Mick Murray, travelled out on January 25.

Irish troops are currently protecting some 100,000 refugees who have fled the violent conflict in Darfur as well as 50,00 internally displaced people.

The soldiers are responsible securing the area around camps along the border between Chad and Sudan to ensure humanitarian aid is distributed and refugees live free from fear of attack.

The UN mission, Minurcat, took over command from European army chiefs running operations in the central African state in March last year.

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