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May 13, 10

NEWS / Security Council extends UN force for two weeks as talks on troop cuts in Chad continue

12 May 2010 – The Security Council today decided to extend the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad for another two weeks, as it continues to examine possible options for a reduction of troops and a revised mandate for the force.

The Mission, known as MINURCAT, was set up in 2007 to ensure the security of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Darfur, other displaced persons and humanitarian workers in both countries.

In a report issued earlier this month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon laid out his proposals for a revised mandate, as well as a major initial reduction of peacekeepers in Chad, whose Government said it wanted to assume full responsibility for protecting civilians in its territory and that the Mission had served its purpose.

The Council, in a unanimously adopted resolution, extended the mandate until 26 May, “considering the need to examine thoroughly the recommendations for a revised mandate” included in the Secretary-General’s report.

Mr. Ban proposes that the Mission’s military component in Chad be reduced from its current strength of 3,300 troops to 1,400 troops and 500 support elements.

MINURCAT, with the support of the Chadian Government, will then ensure the withdrawal of these 1,400 troops by 15 July. The remaining 1,900 troops will be in Chad until 15 October 2010, when they will cease all operations and commence their final withdrawal, subject to approval by the Council.

There are at least half a million people still in need of humanitarian assistance in eastern Chad, including some 250,000 refugees from Darfur, 168,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 150,000 people in host villages.

Mr. Ban noted that once a decision has been made on a revised mandate for MINURCAT, security tasks related to the protection of refugees, IDPs and humanitarian workers will be carried out by Chadian police forces, primarily the UN-trained Détachement intégré de sécurité (DIS).




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