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Plans for UN presence in Central African Republic, Chad on track - Ban Ki-moon

19 December 2007 Preparations for the United Nations-mandated, multidimensional presence in eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic (CAR) – which will include European Union (EU) military forces – are on track, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report.

In September, the Security Council established a new UN peacekeeping mission to Chad and CAR, to be known as MINURCAT to help protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian aid to thousands of people uprooted due to insecurity in the two countries and neighbouring Sudan.

“The complementary and parallel deployment” of MINURCAT and the EU troops under a single Council mandate “breaks new ground in peacekeeping operations,” Mr. Ban notes.

The Secretary-General says he is “pleased” by the collaboration between the UN and EU, and that he has “no doubt this will continue as the two operations are deployed on the ground.”

While he expresses hope that the EU will be able to provide the capacities required for its force, he cautions that if its capabilities are limited, MINURCAT will not be able to deploy in eastern Chad.

“I appeal to all relevant Member States to provide the force requirements necessary to enable the European Union force to deploy with the needed robustness and credibility,” Mr. Ban writes.

At the same time, the Secretary-General observes that “the deployment of MINURCAT and the European Union-led peacekeeping force alone will not solve the crisis plaguing the sub-region.”

The security situation will be bolstered by the simultaneous deployment of the UN-African Union hybrid force planned for the war-wracked Sudanese region of Darfur, known as UNAMID, as well as progress with the Darfur peace talks, he writes.

Mr. Ban voices concern over the “volatile and unpredictable” security situation in eastern Chad, with violence threatening the civilian population and further thwarting aid workers providing urgently-needed assistance.

Regarding CAR, he lauds the Government’s efforts towards an inclusive dialogue, and urges the international community to support them.

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