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SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS FOR FUNDING FOR CIVILIAN PROTECTION IN EASTERN CHAD

By UN
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20 December - The Security Council today called on Member States to ensure sufficient funding for the Chadian unit that will be responsible for protecting some 600,000 refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) when the United Nations mission there departs at the end of the year.

The UN mission in Chad and Central African Republic (CAR), known as MINURCAT, set up by the Council in 2007 to help protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of people uprooted by insecurity in the two countries and neighbouring Sudan, is being terminated on 31 December at the request of the Chadian Government, which has pledged full responsibility for protecting civilians on its territory.

In a presidential statement, the 15-member body welcomed Chad's commitment to assure the future sustainability of its Détachement intégré de sécurité (DIS), which is to protect civilians in the eastern part of the country where 255,000 refugees from the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, more than 137,500 IDPs, 43,000 returnees, and a host population of 150,000 depend on aid from 70 humanitarian organizations.

The Council welcomed the funding Chad has pledged, the work of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with the relevant national Chadian authorities to establish a mechanism for the mobilization of donor support for the DIS, and the establishment of a new 'basket fund' – administered by UNDP – to support the DIS.

“The Council urges the Government of Chad to assume full responsibility for the sustainment of the DIS as soon as possible,” the statement added.

On CAR, the Council voiced serious concern over the security situation in general and at the challenges facing the security forces in the northern Birao region in particular, calling on bilateral partners to enhance the capacity of the armed forces in support of wider security sector reform.

It condemned all attacks by local and foreign armed groups, including the rebel Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), that threaten the population and peace and stability of the CAR and the sub-region. “The Security Council encourages further cooperation between the Governments of the Central African Republic, Chad and the Sudan in order to secure their common borders,” the statement said.

In a report on MINURCAT to the Council earlier this month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that the humanitarian challenges in Chad are immense.

He stressed the unique nature of the mission, a multi-dimensional presence that had a maximum strength of 5,500 peacekeepers, in that it was devoted solely to helping protect civilians, without an explicit political mandate, and had tenuous host-Government consent since Chad repeatedly expressed a strong preference that any international presence be civilian in nature.