October 2009 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 September 2009
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AFRICA

Chad/CAR

Expected Council Action
The Council is expecting a report from the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), due by 15 October.

The report will provide an update on security and humanitarian developments in eastern Chad and the northeastern Central African Republic (CAR), as well as progress made in the implementation of the MINURCAT mandate and fulfillment of benchmarks. MINURCAT’s mandate expires on 15 March 2010.

Key Recent Developments
On 28 July the Special Representative and Head of MINURCAT, Victor Da Silva Angelo, briefed the Council on implementation of the mandate and highlighted recent political, security and humanitarian developments.

He briefed on progress in the framework of the 2007 Political Accord in Chad, signed on 17 August between the government and the political parties. The Accord was designed to reinforce democratic processes in the country while addressing the two key issues of reforming the electoral process and stabilising the political situation. The Accord calls for an electoral census, an updated and transparent electoral register and formation of a National Independent Electoral Commission to organise and supervise the poll. To create a secure environment for elections the Accord calls for depoliticisation of the administration, freedom of expression, an independent judiciary and a social pact to ensure the security of citizens. The parliamentary elections were delayed to the end of 2009 to allow time for the agreement to be implemented.

The Chadian government seems ready to proceed with the planned elections, but a renewed focus on key components of the Accord seems urgent and it is necessary to ensure that election laws conform with the terms of the agreement and remain independent of government influence. The Secretary-General’s report in July urged the Government of Chad and all stakeholders to move forward with the political process in making sure that it is more inclusive while addressing the root causes of the conflict.

The security situation in eastern Chad remains a concern. Recent political developments have not concretely addressed security of the population in the east. The crisis in neighbouring Darfur continues to generate tensions. The Secretary-General’s report in July noted insecurity in eastern Chad and increased crime against humanitarian personnel. Aid workers in eastern Chad and Darfur continue to face insecurity while providing assistance to civilians.

In CAR, insecurity in the northeast remains a concern as armed groups and bandits continue to stage attacks, leading to displacement of civilians, including those who fled their homes after rebels attacked the town of Birao in April. In addition, during the attacks on 6 and 21 June in the Vakaga region, most inhabitants were driven out of the area, which was already hosting some 300 refugees from Darfur and 3,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs). Aid workers in the area were evacuated to the UN base following the second attack.

In the last two months, insecurity restricted humanitarian work by limiting access to areas around Bokayanga, Kengar, Gonkira, Gbaizara and Batangafo (400 kilometres north of the capital Bangui). Civilians have been subjected to widespread cases of rape, killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, displacement and destruction of property. Most of these attacks have been perpetrated by armed cattle raiders, bandits or combatants in the area, including government soldiers.

Another serious problem in CAR is the presence of the Ugandan-based Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which in August launched several attacks in Guli, Nguili Nguli and Maboussou. LRA raids in CAR displaced thousands of civilians in August, disrupting agricultural production and increasing food insecurity. In addition, large number of refugees and IDPs were caught in the latest attacks in several villages along the borders of CAR, the DRC and South Sudan. In September, government forces from CAR and Ugandan troops jointly fought LRA units which crossed into the CAR from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sudan-Chad
The further deterioration of relations between the governments of Chad and Sudan following the incursion in May in eastern Chad was also a setback for the security of the broader region. The Doha Agreement, in which the parties on 3 May committed to refrain from using force against each other and cease providing support to armed opposition groups, was not respected by either side. Chad accused Sudan of supporting rebels during an attack in eastern Chad in May.

In July tensions between the two countries increased. Attacks in their territories, have impacted civilians living near the border area. On 20 July, the Secretary-General issued a statement condemning increased violence in West Darfur and along the Chad-Sudan border. The Secretary-General called on both governments to increase their efforts to bring stability to the region.

Key Issues
A key issue for the Council is whether MINURCAT forces are effectively supporting security in eastern Chad and in zones of deployment in the CAR. This is a key issue for humanitarian workers, refugees and displaced populations including returnees.

The deteriorating relations between Sudan and Chad are also a key issue.

A related concern is the limited prospect for safe and voluntary return of IDPs, which depends also on the management of local conflicts between ethnic groups in eastern Chad.

Options
Options available to the Council include:

  • taking action to encourage the full deployment of MINURCAT, which would boost security, especially in the east of Chad and in CAR;
  • acting proactively to address the inter-state conflict between Sudan and Chad by putting the issue specifically on the Council agenda; and
  • taking action to request more cooperation among peacekeeping missions in the area, including UNAMID, MINURCAT and MONUC.

Council Dynamics
Many Council members are concerned about the situation in eastern Chad and CAR. Some see the Chad-Sudan issue as essentially regional in nature, and feel that peacekeeping missions in the region (including MINURCAT and UNAMID) should coordinate much better in monitoring rebel movements. Others, including some African members, think that a bilateral approach among neighbouring countries is a better way of dealing with cross-border issues, including refugees and civilian protection.

Council members seem to agree on the need to press the parties to move forward with the implementation of the Doha Agreement of 3 May and the Dakar Agreement of 13 March 2008.

Most members support benchmarks highlighted in the Secretary-General’s report. Some believe that benchmarks could be a useful way to evolve prevention strategies. Others think that benchmarks do not effectively address the complicated issues and security requirements. Nor do they adequately address condition for return of IDPs.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1861 (14 January 2009) renewed MINURCAT’s mandate until 15 March 2010 and authorised the deployment of a military component to replace EUFOR.
  • S/RES/1778 (25 September 2007) established MINURCAT and authorised EUFOR.

Selected Security Council Presidential Statements

  • S/PRST/2009/13 (8 May 2009) condemned renewed military incursions in eastern Chad by “Chadian armed groups, coming from outside”.
  • S/PRST/2008/22 (16 June 2008) was a statement on the June rebel offensive in Chad.

Latest Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2009/359 (14 July 2009) was a report on MINURCAT.
  • S/2009/277 (29 May 2009) was a report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.
  • S/2009/214 (23 April 2009) was the letter transmitting report on the activities of the EU military operation in Chad and CAR.
  • S/2009/199 (14 April 2009) was a report on MINURCAT.

Other

  • SG/SM/12373 (20 July 2009) was the statement of the Secretary-General condemning violence in West Darfur, Chad and Sudan border.
  • S/PV.6121 and S/PV.6122 (8 May 2009) were verbatim records of the Council meetings to discuss renewed cross-border rebel activity in Chad.
  • S/2009/232 (6 May 2009) was a letter from Chad requesting a Council meeting on the situation between Chad and Sudan.
  • S/2009/231 (5 May 2009) was the note verbale from the Chadian government accusing Sudan of facilitating the renewed cross-border rebel activity.

Other Relevant Facts

MINURCAT: Special Representative of the Secretary-General

 

Victor da Silva Angelo (Portugal)

 

MINURCAT: Size, Composition and Cost

 
  • Authorised strength as of 14 January 2009: 300 police, 25 military liaison officers, 5,200 military personnel and an appropriate number of civilian personnel
  • Strength as of 31 July 2009: 2,623 total uniformed personnel, including 2,352 troops, 21 military observers, and 250 police officers, as well as 398 international civilian personnel, 302 local civilian staff, and 111 UN volunteers.
  • Main police contributors: Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Benin and France
  • Main military contributors: France and Ireland
  • Cost: approved budget 1 July 2009–30 June 2010: $690.75 million
 

MINURCAT: Duration

 

September 2007 to present; mandate expires 15 March 2010 

 

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