In the interest of halting migration and providing humanitarian assistance, Hungary is going to send a military mission to Chad, announced Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky at a press conference held on Friday, 13 October in Budapest.
According to the minister, we live in an age of threats. “The present one is already the second serious ongoing armed conflict, with millions of migrants flooding into Europe from Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan”, emphasized the minister, pointing out that besides immigration, terrorism poses another threat to Europe.
Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said that Chad, a country situated in the Sahel in Central Africa has a key role in halting African migration. He went on saying that regional terrorist organizations had increased their activity in the region over the last few weeks and months, so Chad remains the only stable country in the region, which receives a lot of refugees from other African countries. He stressed that “insofar as Chad becomes unstable, we will witness a “migration dam failure” that may propel further hundreds of thousands of people towards Europe”.
The minister told the press that the government of Hungary is working to take the help where it is needed instead of “bringing trouble home”. “From the beginning, Hungary has spoken up in Brussels for halting migration and protecting the borders”, he stated, adding that in spite of our efforts, nothing has happened in the last eight years, and migrants continue to come flooding in on the migration routes. “Trouble is deepening, so we must help”, underlined the minister.
Speaking about the planned military engagement, he said that Hungary is about to offer Chad a complex support package, which comprises humanitarian assistance and medical mission, as well as support to agricultural developments. The minister stated that the objective of the mission initiated at the invitation of the President of Chad is to promote the halting of migration, counterterrorism and the safe operation of local development projects – and through all this, to strengthen the security of Hungary and Europe.
He also noted that currently US and French forces are also being deployed in Chad, but the Hungarian mission will be a “standalone engagement”. The minister also said that a draft resolution on the mission planned for 2024 would be submitted to the National Assembly early this week. He added that provided that the National Assembly approves the proposal, the Hungarian Defence Forces will start the mission-focused rehearsal training for at least 200 service personnel.