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UN To Decide On Troops For Chad By December

Security Council defers decision on UN troops for Chad, Central African Republic

24 September 2008 – The Security Council today put off until December a decision on the size of a military component to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad, for which Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has proposed 6,000 troops.

The military addition to the mission, known as MINURCAT, is to replace a European Union force (EUFOR). Both Chad and CAR have been hit by rebel activity and a spill-over from neighbouring Sudan’s Darfur conflict.

The 15-member Council unanimously extended MINURCAT’s mandate until 15 March 2009 and expressed its intention to authorize the deployment of a military component, “taking fully into account” Mr. Ban’s recommendations.

It asked him to submit a new report by 15 November on progress towards the full deployment of MINURCAT at its current target of 1,549 personnel – at present there are 768 people on the ground – with options on the size, structure and mandate of the proposed UN military presence in north-eastern CAR to take over from the 3,300-strong EUFOR, whose mandate expires on 15 March.

The Council said it intended to adopt a decision by 15 December.

In a report earlier this month, Mr. Ban said the situation in CAR remained volatile and there had been no notable progress towards implementing a year-old agreement between Chad’s Government and the main rebel groups confronting it.

The Council set up MINURCAT a year ago with a mandate to help bring stability to eastern Chad and north-eastern CAR, which have both been wracked by violence and civilian displacement in recent years involving hundreds of thousands of people.

Eastern Chad currently shelters 290,000 refugees, mainly Sudanese escaping from the Darfur fighting, and 180,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who depend on humanitarian aid to survive.

ENDS

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