Sahel: UAE Delivers Military Equipment to Chad

The alliance between Chad and the United Arab Emirates is strengthening with the provision of military vehicles and security equipment. At the forefront is the NIMR, a desert-adapted tactical 4×4 vehicle.

Between N’Djamena and Abu Dhabi, relations are old and the regional strategic vision shared. For several years, the United Arab Emirates has supported N’Djamena in the fight against terrorism and armed groups. As part of this commitment, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) confirmed through its news agency WAM on Sunday August 6 that it had provided Chad with military vehicles and security equipment in the context of the military coup in Niger and the armed conflict in Sudan. , illustrated by a photo lining up brand new vehicles and flags of Chad and the Emirates, had an important echo, a sign of its strategic importance.

“This publicly disclosed delivery is linked to the defense agreements signed between the UAE and Chad during the visit of Chadian transitional president Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno to the UAE in June 2023, in the presence of UAE president Cheikh Mohammed Ben Zayed Al Nahyane.”

“Over the past decade, Chad has emerged as a key player in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel. In 2013, during Operation Serval in Mali, Chadian forces played a decisive role alongside France, contributing to the recapture of the strategic city of Kidal.”

“In 2014, Chad joined the G5 Sahel, a regional initiative aimed at coordinating development and security efforts, and deployed its troops as part of the G5 Sahel Joint Force. In 2015, the ‘African soldier’ led a major offensive against the terrorist group Boko Haram, recapturing several cities and villages. While the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) withdraws from Mali, Chad remains an essential pillar.”

“On their part, the United Arab Emirates have been early contributors against terrorism in the Sahel region. Two examples: in 2017, they contributed $30 million to the G5 Sahel. In February 2021, the UAE participated in the seventh ordinary session of the G5 Sahel Summit in N’Djamena, reaffirming their commitment to cooperate for stability and security in the region.”

“‘Little Sparta’ and ‘the African Soldier,’ aligned, work closely towards their goals of regional stabilization, as demonstrated by this delivery. This reinforcement of Chadian capabilities comes at a time when the Sahelian region, destabilized by the return of terrorism and armed groups, demands heightened vigilance.”

“While the UAE news agency, WAM, did not provide specific details about the provided equipment, it published images of vehicles from the NIMR family, ‘tiger’ in Arabic, including the NIMR ABJAN MK2. This range of all-terrain armored vehicles is manufactured in the United Arab Emirates by NIMR Automotive, a subsidiary of the UAE state conglomerate EDGE Group.”

“These robust and battle-tested vehicles, used by several armies outside of the UAE itself — including Algeria, Libya, Turkmenistan, Yemen, and Jordan — are specifically designed for military operations in harsh desert climates like the Sahel. A version adapted for European countries is jointly developed by Czech industrial company VOP CZ and NIMR since 2017.”

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