May 2011 Monthly Forecast

Posted 29 April 2011
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AFRICA

Chad

Expected Council Action
In May the Council is expecting a briefing by OCHA regarding the protection of civilians in eastern Chad, especially women and children following the withdrawal of MINURCAT. The report, requested by presidential statement 2010/29, should include an overall assessment of the security situation, as well as information about the status of refugees and internally displaced persons; humanitarian access and security for humanitarian personnel; and responses to violations of humanitarian, human rights and refugee law.

Key Recent Developments
The UN Mission in Chad and the Central African Republic (MINURCAT) completed its withdrawal and the handover of its programmes to the government of Chad and UN agencies on 31 December 2010. The Chadian integrated security force, the Détachement Intégré de Sécurité (DIS), has since taken over protection of civilians and security responsibilities.

The first round of presidential elections in Chad is now scheduled for 8 May after having been repeatedly postponed. Initially slated for 3 April, the election was postponed by three weeks, to 25 April, by Chad’s Independent National Electoral Commission to allow it to better organise the poll. Opposition figures had petitioned the commission for several measures to be taken to ensure the integrity of the elections. After this initial postponement, three leading presidential opponents of President Idriss Deby announced on 22 March that they would boycott the elections unless certain conditions were met, leading to the further postponement to 8 May. If no clear winner emerges (with an absolute majority), a run-off will be held on 5 June.

Parliamentary elections were held on 13 February. They were the first parliamentary elections in Chad since 2002. Deby’s Patriotic Salvation Movement won 110 of 188 seats. Election observers complained of mismanagement and poor organisation of the poll, which had been rescheduled from late November 2010.

On 2 March the UN opened a new political office designed to support Central African nations in their efforts to consolidate peace, prevent conflict and tackle cross-border arms trafficking and organised crime. The UN Regional Office in Central Africa, or UNOCA, located in Libreville, Gabon, has an initial mandate of two years and will work closely with the Economic Community of Central African States, composed of Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe. UNOCA will give high priority to early warning and early political action as tools for conflict prevention.

On 31 March, the Libyan opposition Interim Transitional National Council (ITNC) said that the government of Chad was participating in attacks on Libyan rebels and that approximately 3,600 Chadian troops were fighting for Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. ITNC spokesman Ahmed Bani claimed that Chadian forces had killed and wounded many opposition fighters since the uprising began in mid-February. Chad’s foreign minister, Moussa Faki Mahmat, denied the allegations.

At the 14 December 2010 final briefing to the Council by Special Representative and head of MINURCAT Youssef Mahmoud, the Council received an assessment of lessons learned in the context of MINURCAT.

Human Rights-Related Developments
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (OHCHR) has expressed concerns about the need for a security mechanism to maintain the civilian and humanitarian character of refugee camps in Chad, to nurture respect for the rule of law following the phasing-out of MINURCAT and particularly to prevent child recruitment and sexual and gender-based violence. Almost 100,000 refugees live along Chad’s southern border with CAR. Noting the volatile political situation in CAR, and notwithstanding the political reconciliation process occurring there, OHCHR believes that voluntary repatriation to CAR is unlikely in 2011.

Key Issues
A key issue in light of the report will be whether there is need for further Council discussion on post-MINURCAT Chad.

Another issue, recalling Mahmoud’s December briefing, is how best to record Council members’ shared perceptions of the lessons learned concerning mission withdrawals and the transition to local power in the MINURCAT context for future peacekeeping operations.

Options
One option would be to simply receive the briefing in a public meeting.

Another option would be a debate to follow the briefing.

A third option would be a statement on the situation in Chad and CAR, particularly addressing protection of civilians matters.

A fourth option would be a debate on lessons learned.

Council Dynamics
There is some concern among Council members that the ongoing situation following MINURCAT’s termination may not get sufficient attention due to other, higher-profile issues being taken up by the Council in May.

There seems to be little interest in a prolonged series of further Council meetings on Chad.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council resolutions

  • S/RES/1923 (25 May 2010) renewed MINURCAT’s mandate until 31 December 2010.
  • 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 Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2011/64 (9 February 2011) was on children and armed conflict in Chad.
  • S/2010/611 (1 December 2010) included an assessment of lessons learned in the context of MINURCAT ahead of its expiry.

Other

  • S/PRST/2010/29 (20 December 2010) urged Chad to assume full responsibility for the sustainment of DIS as soon as possible and requested that the Secretary-General report on the progress made in eastern Chad on the protection of civilians by 30 April 2011.
  • S/PV.6449 (14 December 2010) was a briefing by Special Representative Youssef Mahmoud on the situation in Chad and CAR.
  • S/2010/536 (15 October 2010) was a letter from Chad transmitting the updated plan for the sustainment of the DIS as requested by resolution 1923.

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