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UN Help Possible in Chad, Central African Republic

Ban Recommends 6,000-Strong UN Force For Chad, Central African Republic

New York, Sep 17 2008 4:10PM

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today proposed that the Security Council consider sending 6,000 United Nations troops to replace a European Union force in eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic (CAR), which have both been wracked by violence and civilian displacement in recent years.

The mandate of the EU’s military force, known as EUFOR, is set to expire on 15 March 2009, and currently comprises 3,300 troops.

The blue helmets who would take their place will require an “over the horizon” capability to be able to deploy quickly “should the security situation rise to levels beyond the capacity of a United Nations force,” especially during the transition period, Mr. Ban wrote in his latest report on the nascent UN Mission in CAR and Chad (INURCAT).

The Secretary-General said the Council should leave any resolution authorizing this new force in draft form until the world body has firm guarantees on troop contributions and other support from Member States.

He also noted that while insecurity and instability in the two nations are spurred by many factors, positive steps have been taken towards bolstering peace and stability.

“Regional and local tensions, poverty, weak institutions and poor infrastructure compound the difficulties faced by local authorities in finding peaceful and sustainable mechanisms to address the causes and consequences of insecurity and violence,” Mr. Ban wrote.

In eastern Chad, carjackings, armed robberies and crime targeting both national and international humanitarian staff continued, impeding their ability to help the nearly 300,000 refugees and almost 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the area.

In the face of such difficulties, progress has still been made since July in both Chad and CAR, the Secretary-General said, commending the leaders of the two countries.

MINURCAT has taken steps in the reporting period to expand its political and civil affairs presence, and is also working to increase its promotion and protection of human rights.

ENDS

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