Norway to send military field hospital to Chad

Norway will soon send a military field hospital to Chad to strengthen the UN military operations on the border with the troubled region of Darfur in Sudan, said reports reaching here from Oslo Friday.

Minister of Defence Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen. Photo:

Minister of Defence Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen. Photo:

The Norwegian government decided last December to send a military field hospital to Chad in 2009 in response to a UN request.

The Norwegian Ministry of Defence is making preparations to send the hospital to the Central African state, and is soon sending a group of experts to prepare for the installations, Major John Sigurd Holtesmo from the ministry was quoted by the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK as saying.

Some 150 people of the hospital will remain in the region for one year, according to the Norwegian government’s decision.

It will be a tough assignment for the Norwegian troops with high temperature in the desert and poor infrastructure in the region, said Holtesmo who just came back from a visit to Chad.

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

“I am very pleased that Norway, and the Norwegian Armed Forces, are able to provide a critically important capability for a vital UN operation in Africa. The link with the conflict in Darfur is obvious. By participating in the UN operation in Chad, Norway will be able to contribute towards the strengthening of the UN’s activities in the region as a whole. We have to remember that the widespread conflicts in Africa, primarily in Congo and in Sudan/Chad, have cost more human lives than all the other conflicts in our time,” says Defence Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen.

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