Expected Council Action
In April, Council members will again take up the serious situation that has arisen over the future of MINURCAT. A briefing by the head of UN peacekeeping, Alain Le Roy is expected after the return of a UN delegation led by Youssef Mahmoud.
The mandate of MINURCAT was rolled over until 15 May to allow time for negotiations over Chad’s announcement in January that it did not want the mission to continue.
Key Recent Developments
On 22 March, Council members held an informal interactive dialogue with Chad’s permanent representative. Council members expressed their continued concern about protection of civilians in the eastern part of the country and reiterated their position in favour of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) continuing its operations.
The Chadian ambassador said that the operation had not yet fully deployed and was not able to protect civilians effectively as insecurity continues in the eastern part of the country. He argued that the Chadian government is ready to provide security in the east, which will be helped by the improved relations with Sudan.
On 12 March, the Council adopted resolution 1913, extending MINURCAT until 15 May. It noted a 19 January note verbale and 3 March letter from the Government of Chad and the Secretary-General’s response of 11 March, indicating the discussions on the future of MINURCAT in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad should continue. The resolution recognises that the situation in the region continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security.
A little discussed issue to date is the impact on MINURCAT’s role in CAR.
The overall future role of the UN in Chad is a complex issue for the Council involving the question of consent and the duration of understandings reached when missions are initially established. It also involves important technical aspects since the withdrawal is almost impossible to conduct given the approaching rainy season and the associated logistics challenges.
continuing with the mission as originally planned;
reducing the number of MINURCAT’s military but deciding that the reductions should take place in a way that responsibly responds to the logistic challenges of the rainy season; and
agreeing to full withdrawal as soon as possible.
Most Council members welcomed the recent interactive dialogue with the permanent representatives of Chad and CAR as it allowed them to state their views on MINURCAT and their concern about the requested withdrawal directly.
Most Council members seem open to some compromise that would respond to the concerns expressed by the host country, but not at the expense of abandoning the mission and its military contingent altogether.