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UN Council authorises EU force for Chad

Latest update : 2008-01-25

The U.N. Security Council authorised on Tuesday a European Union peacekeeping force and U.N. police to help protect civilians suffering from the spillover violence from neighboring Darfur.

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 25 (Reuters) - The U.N. Security
Council authorized on Tuesday a European Union peacekeeping
force and U.N. police to help protect civilians suffering from
the spillover violence from neighboring Darfur.
 
The new force would attempt to block fighters from Sudan
from crossing into a corner of the Central African Republic,
according to the 10-page French-drafted resolution approved by
a 15 to 0 vote.
 
EU defense ministers meet on Friday in Portugal to give a
final go-ahead for the deployment of up to 4,000 troops by the
end of the year beginning next month. The United Nations would
field up to 300 police, 50 military liaison officers and
civilian personnel.
 
The conflict that flared in Sudan's western Darfur region
four years ago after rebels took up arms against Khartoum has
led to refugees being driven into neighboring countries by
attacks by pro-government militia, called Janjaweed.
 
This has created havoc in Chad and the Central African
Republic and played into existing conflicts there. Both the
Chadian and the Sudanese governments are accused of having
supported each other's rebels, prompting attacks against
Chadian villages also.
 
According to U.N. figures there are some 400,000 Sudanese
refugees and displaced Chadians in Chad and 200,000 displaced
people in the Central African Republic.
 
The resolution said the "multidimensional presence" would
serve for one year in Chad and the northeastern Central African
Republic and will be known as MINURCAT, the French acronym for
U.N.  Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad.
 
It was authorized under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter which
allows the use of force.
 
In Chad, the new operation is expected to "select, train,
advise" police to protect refugee camps near the Darfur border
and in both countries make sure humanitarian aid reaches the
needy.
 
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon originally wanted a U.N.
peacekeeping force but Chadian President Idriss Deby opposed
this but later agreed to the European troops.
 
France, with 3,000 air force personnel already in Chad, its
former colony, is expected to provide many of the troops for
the EU force, which would complement a planned mission of up to
26,000 U.N. and African Union troops and police in Darfur
itself.

Date created : 2007-09-25

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