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Security Council approves UN presence in Central African Republic, Chad

25 September 2007 The Security Council today established a United Nations-mandated, multidimensional presence, which will include European Union military forces, in eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic (CAR) to help protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian aid to thousands of people uprooted due to insecurity in the two countries and neighbouring Sudan.

Deeply concerned about the humanitarian threat posed by armed groups on the borders of the Sudan’s troubled Darfur region, the 15-member body set up, for a period of one year, the UN presence “intended to help create the security conditions conducive to a voluntary, secure and sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons.”

In doing so, it also approved the deployment of an EU military force, also for a period of one year, with the authority to “take all necessary measures” in support of the UN presence.

The UN presence will include a UN Mission – to be known by its acronym MINURCAT – with 300 police and 50 military liaison officers, as well as civilian staff, focusing on the areas of civil affairs, human rights, the rule of law and mission support. The Mission will be headquartered in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena.

In the resolution passed unanimously today, the Council also endorsed the establishment of a new unit of Chad’s police to maintain law and order in refugee camps and areas with large numbers of displaced civilians in the eastern part of the country.

According to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s latest report on the situation in Chad and the CAR, the humanitarian situation “has shown no signs of improving” since February, with more than 400,000 refugees and IDPs as a result of the fighting and an estimated 700,000 others in host communities also affected.

Mr. Ban wrote that the deployment of a UN-mandated multidimensional presence in Chad and the CAR – both of which have been beset by widespread population displacement because of clashes between rebels and Government forces – “could have a significant positive impact on the security situation there.”

The Council has already authorized deployment of a 26,000-strong joint UN-African Union force (to be known as UNAMID) to suppress ongoing violence in Darfur, which has had a spillover effect on the region.

The Secretary-General added in his report that a lasting solution to the region’s crises, including the violence and suffering engulfing Darfur, is only possible through inclusive political agreements.

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