At the invitation of the President of Chad, a military mission would be sent to the African country, in the framework of which a maximum of 200 Hungarian troops would serve there starting from the spring of 2024 – this was what Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said at the 25 October session of the National Assembly, in the general debate of a motion on the military engagement of the Hungarian Defence Forces in Chad.
In his opening statement, the Minister of Defence pointed out that the mission would be launched with the triple aim of contributing to halting migration, supporting anti-terrorism efforts and providing a secure background to a complex economic and humanitarian assistance package that Hungary is to take to the country in the framework of the Hungary Helps program.
He explained that “we live in an era of dangers”, as the Israeli armed conflict has recently compounded the Russo-Ukrainian War, dividing the attention of those concerned about global security. Besides, the war in Ukraine has triggered a grain supply crisis, and the sanctions inflation is causing economic difficulties which contribute to the continuous increase of migration, explained the minister. He noted that Hungary has always been in favor of halting migration, but migrants keep flooding towards Europe. Hungary has always supported the handling of problems where they arise rather than bringing them over to Europe, he said.
He stated that one of the most important starting points of the increasing migration pressure is the region of Africa, in particular the Sahel. He went on adding that Hungary had already been present in this region earlier, so “our economic, diplomatic and military presence is not without precedent” in the region.
The minister said that the only still stable state in the Sahel is Chad, which is not free from economic hardships, poor living conditions, problems of water security, food security and epidemics, while one can see that “the neighboring countries around it are collapsing one after another.”
The minister emphasized that in addition to the Sahel, Chad itself is a trouble spot as well, and it is in the interest of Hungary to deal with the problems where they arise. Therefore, the government of Hungary has made a decision to offer Chad a complex assistance package with economic, humanitarian and social elements in it. He revealed that the parliamentary motion currently under debate is aimed at sending a military mission to the country in order to complement this package.