|Date||22 October 2009|
The situation in Chad, the Central African Republic and the subregion Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (S/2009/535)
|President:||Mr. Le Luong Minh
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Liu Zhenmin
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Chad, the Central African Republic and the subregion
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (S/2009/535)
In accordance with the understanding reached in the Council’s prior consultations, I shall take it that the Council agrees to extend an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to Mr. Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.
It is so decided.
I invite Mr. Mulet to take a seat at the Council table.
The Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members of the Council have before them document S/2009/535, which contains the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad.
At this meeting, the Council will hear a briefing by Mr. Edmond Mulet. I now give him the floor.
Before I start, I would like to confirm to the Council the very sad news of the death this morning of the Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS), Brigadier Ahmed Moinuddin, who was shot down in Islamabad while on leave in his home country of Pakistan. He had taken over his responsibilities as Deputy Force Commander of UNMIS in the Sudan on 24 June.
I thank the Council for the opportunity to update it on the situation in eastern Chad and the north-east Central African Republic. The Secretary-General’s quarterly report (S/2009/535) on the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) is before the Council. I take this opportunity to highlight a number of points of particular interest, as well as the most significant developments that have taken place since the report was issued.
As the report indicates, MINURCAT continues to train, advise and monitor the Détachement integré de sécurité (DIS), the Chadian community police force tasked with preserving law and order in refugee camps, internally displaced persons sites and the main cities in the East of the country, as well as with assisting in creating a security environment conducive to carrying out humanitarian activities. If it is to continue this support and to finance new programmes in the justice and prison sectors, the MINURCAT Trust Fund will requires $21.7 million for 2010. To this end, pledges totalling $14.5 million were made at a donor meeting held in Brussels on 2 October. These pledges, from the European Commission, France, Luxembourg, Norway and the United States, demonstrate donors’ firm commitment to DIS, which is acknowledged and highly appreciated.
Nonetheless, given the $7.2 million still to be mobilized, we invite members of the Council to assist us in generating additional pledges from other donors. MINURCAT’s support for DIS is essential to achieving some of the objectives relating to the fulfilment of the Mission’s mandate, especially the strengthening of Chad’s capacity to ensure the security of refugees, displaced persons, civilians and humanitarian workers, to maintain law and order and ensure respect for human rights.
With DIS now deployed, efforts are currently focused on improving its training and capacities. MINURCAT and the Government of Chad will soon reach a critical stage in that process with the gradual transition towards national ownership and financing of DIS. While the Chadian Government remains committed to assuming responsibility for this vital national force, the backing of the international community during this transition remains essential.
As of 19 October, MINURCAT comprised 2,750 troops, representing 53 per cent of its authorized strength. We continue to do everything possible to expedite the deployment of all pledged contingents. However, the expansion of the force has been impeded by difficulties experienced by some troop-contributing countries in acquiring and transporting equipment, which is all the more critical given the impending departure of some contingents. Meanwhile, the impending withdrawal of existing transport and engineering units will also constrain the Mission prior to the arrival of new contingents between December 2009 and March 2010. While MINURCAT is developing measures to ensure the continuation of operations in all sectors, the capacities of the force will be stretched in the coming months.
In some cases, the deployment of the MINURCAT force has also been delayed as a result of legal matters, including disputes over the payment of taxes on goods and supplies imported by MINURCAT contractors or provided by troop-contributing countries under letter-of-assist arrangements. In this regard, I am pleased to report that on 15 October, the Government of Chad and MINURCAT signed an addendum to the status of mission agreement to incorporate the military component. We hope that, with this very welcome development, past disputes concerning charges inconsistent with the agreement will not be repeated.
Despite these challenges, I am pleased to report that the MINURCAT force, within its current strength and capacities, has continued to build confidence, including through a series of high-profile operations designed to deter criminality and provide a security umbrella. Improved coordination between DIS, the national police and the gendarmerie has also enhanced security for humanitarian efforts.
On 17 October, a campaign to unite to end violence against women was launched in Chad as part of a United Nations initiative to combat sexual and gender-based violence by promoting the adoption and enforcement of national legislation in line with international human rights standards, the implementation of national and local action plans, and awareness-raising campaigns. However, as the rainy season abates, we remain concerned by unconfirmed reports, denied by the Government of Chad, of the ongoing presence of forces of the Justice and Equality Movement in border locations in the North-East, and by similar reports of Chadian armed opposition groups on the Sudanese side of the border.
In this regard, however, we are encouraged by a statement made by the Governments of Chad and the Sudan on 11 October, following a meeting in N’Djamena between Chadian President Déby and Sudanese presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Al-Din, stressing their desire to restore confidence between the two Governments. In recent days, President Déby has also publicly committed to working with the Sudan on a number o£ confidence-building measures. During his recent visit to N’Djamena for discussions on the Darfur political process, the African Union-United Nations Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Bassolé encouraged the Government of Chad to continue this dialogue, since an improvement in Chad-Sudan relations would have a direct and positive impact on efforts to achieve peace in Darfur. The Government of Chad’s stated intention to relocate the Ouré Cassoni refugee camp away from the border could also be a positive development for Chad-Sudan relations.
As we have stated on many previous occasions, progress to normalize relations between Chad and the Sudan must be matched by efforts to address the internal conflicts prevailing in both the Sudan and Chad. In this regard, we welcome progress made in the implementation of the 13 August agreement, including the establishment of an independent electoral body to oversee legislative and presidential elections in Chad and the recent announcement of the census results.
Following a request by the National Electoral Commission, a needs assessment mission was sent to Chad in late August by the Department of Political Affairs, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme. The team has finalized its report and will shortly begin discussions with the Government of Chad on the electoral process.
In the meantime, we encourage the Government and political opposition to fully implement governance aspects of the 13 August agreement, sponsored by the European Union, to promote the transparent functioning of administrative, judicial and military institutions. We also call on armed groups in Chad to relinquish their arms and for all parties to engage towards a comprehensive process of national reconciliation.
I should like in conclusion to touch on the situation in north-eastern Central African Republic, which to some extent has stabilized since my most recent briefing to the Council. The situation remains unpredictable, however, and the underlying sources of insecurity, including inter-ethnic tensions, have yet to be resolved. We encourage the Government of the Central African Republic to step up its efforts to facilitate inter-community dialogue and to launch a credible disarmament process in the region.
I thank Mr. Mulet for his briefing.
In accordance with the understanding reached in the Council’s prior consultations, I now invite Council members to informal consultations to continue our discussion of the subject.