Security Council extends UN force for two months, as talks with Chad continue

12 March 2010

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic and Chad until 15 May, as discussions continue on the future of the operation.

The two-month technical roll-over of the mission (MINURCAT), set up in 2007 to ensure the security of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Darfur, other displaced persons and humanitarian workers, comes after recent discussions between the world body and Chadian authorities.

The Government of Chad had called for the withdrawal of the military component of MINURCAT, stating that it had served its purpose and that it was better for Chadian forces to take over security responsibilities.

Last week UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy told reporters that a two-month extension, which was agreed with the Chadian Government, would “give some time to try to find agreement with the Chadian authorities on the future of MINURCAT in Chad.”

Mr. Le Roy, who was recently in Chad to discuss the issue with the country’s leaders, added that many Council members have stressed the importance of keeping the mission on the ground.

The 15-member body adopted today’s resolution unanimously.

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The top United Nations peacekeeper is flying to Chad next week after the African country called for the withdrawal of the military component of the UN mission that was set up over two years ago after tensions increased along the border with Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region.