The involvement of Hungary in Chad is rooted in the recognition that the situation in Central Africa, particularly Chad, has significant implications for the stability and future of Europe. The Hungarian government, through the Hungary Helps humanitarian programme, has taken proactive steps to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Chad.
Chad, located in Central Africa, is currently facing a precarious situation due to armed conflicts in its neighbouring countries. These conflicts include the ongoing civil war in Sudan and a recent military coup in Niger. As the last remaining stable country in the region, Chad is experiencing an influx of people seeking safety and refuge for themselves and their families. A significant portion of Chad’s population, roughly a third, is in dire need of humanitarian aid, particularly in the context of ongoing medical care challenges.
Speaking about the possibility of a military mission being launched, Hungarian Minister of Defence Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky explained that such a mission will only take place at the invitation of the Chadian president, and within this framework, a maximum of 200 soldiers would serve from the spring of 2024.
During the general debate on the resolution proposal regarding the Hungarian Defence Forces’ participation in the Chadian military mission in the Hungarian National Assembly on Wednesday, the defence minister emphasized that the mission would have three goals:
to contribute to curbing migration, to support the fight against terrorism, and to provide a secure background for the comprehensive economic and humanitarian aid package
that Hungary is providing to the country through Hungary Helps.
The minister noted that the world lives ‘in an age of dangers,’ referring to the recent Israeli armed conflict and the Russo–Ukrainian war. He reminded that as a result of the war on Ukraine, there has also been a grain crisis, while sanctions-related inflation is causing economic difficulties, all of which contribute to the continuous increase in migration. He reminded that Hungary has always been in favour of stopping migration, and of prioritizing dealing with problems where they arise, as opposed to importing them to Europe or specifically Hungary.
He stated: ‘One of the most important starting points for the increasing migration pressure is Africa, particularly the Sahel region. Hungary has been present in this region before, so our economic, diplomatic, and military presence there is not unprecedented.’ The minister reminded that the Sahel region’s only stable state is Chad, which is not free from economic difficulties, poor living conditions, and struggles with water security, food security, and epidemics, all while seeing ‘neighbouring countries collapsing one after another.’
He emphasized that there are problems not only in the Sahel region but also in Chad, and it is in Hungary’s interest to address these issues where they originate. Therefore, the Hungarian government has decided to offer a comprehensive aid package to Chad, which includes economic, humanitarian, and social elements.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/Ministry of Defence/MTI