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First death in operation for Eufor

(BRUSSELS2) A French soldier from Eufor in Chad / RCA was killed on March 3 following a clash with Sudanese forces. He had “accidentally” crossed the border. Border considered not very stable. This is the first incident of the military force sent to Chad and the Central African Republic to protect the numerous refugees and displaced people in this area, following fighting between rebels and government forces in the neighboring Darfur region.

(Updated) This is Sergeant Gilles Polin of the 1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment (1st RPIMa) of Bayonne. He was posthumously elevated to the rank of adjutant and made a knight of the Legion of Honor. His funeral took place on March 13 in the presence of the Head of State, Nicolas Sarkozy.

This is the first incident following violent actions on a European Defense operation. Or, to be exact, the second. In January 1992 - at a time when European defense policy did not officially exist but was still functioning -, in the middle of the Croatian war, five European observers - four Italians and a Frenchman - died after their helicopter was hit. by mistake” by the Yugoslav (Serbian) Air Force. “An unfortunate combination of circumstances” linked to the “extremely difficult situation prevailing in the airspace”, the Yugoslav Ministry of Defense explained, with a straight face, at the time.

European missions suffered certain losses, often by accident. Recently, on January 11, a Macedonian forces helicopter, MI-17, carrying soldiers returning from the Eufor mission in Bosnia, crashed, killing 11 people (crew and passengers).


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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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