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UN-backed special security unit begins mission to eastern Chad

UN-backed special security unit begins mission to eastern Chad

A special security unit of the Chadian army composed of national police and gendarmes responsible for the protection of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) today began its first reconnaissance visit to eastern Chad, ahead of its deployment to the region, the United Nations announced today.

Some 70 members of the Détachement intégré de sécurité (DIS), who have been trained by the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad, known as MINURCAT, will tour Abeché, Goz Beida, Farchana, Iriba, Guereda and Bahai.

The UN Mission has trained some 320 members of unit so far and plans to train another 500 soon, according to a news release issued in the capital, N’Djamena.

Ahead of the unit’s deployment, the head of MINURCAT, Victor Angelo, last week visited a camp in Farchana housing over 20,000 refugees from the Darfur region of neighbouring Sudan.

During the visit, Mr. Angelo noted that a major concern for the UN in eastern Chad is the humanitarian situation of the estimated 250,000 refugees and 180,000 IDPs living there, as well as improving access to education, health care and economic opportunities.

Set up last September, MINURCAT includes a multi-dimensional UN presence and a European Union military force (EUFOR) that are jointly trying to bring stability to eastern Chad and north-eastern CAR, which have been beset by widespread fighting and civilian displacement in recent years.