A senior United Nations official arrived today in the Chadian capital to lead talks with that country’s Government on the future of the UN peacekeeping force in the African country and the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR).
Under-Secretary-General Youssef Mahmoud and other officials with the world body is expected to spend nine days in N’Djamena holding discussions with Chadian authorities on the fate of the mission, known as MINURCAT.
Earlier this month the Security Council extended the mandate of MINURCAT through 15 May, but Chad has called for the withdrawal of the mission’s military component, saying it has served its purpose and it was better for Chadian forces to take over security responsibilities.
Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said the technical roll-over of the mission until mid-May would “give some time to try to find agreement with the Chadian authorities.” He recently visited the country for talks with Government officials.
Meanwhile, MINURCAT today handed over 74 all-terrain vehicles to a Chadian security unit responsible for protecting refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the east of the country, according to a press release issued by the mission.
The new vehicles, bought through the UN Trust Fund, have been procured to help the Integrated Security Detachment (DIS), a unit composed of national police and gendarmes, secure camp sites that are home to hundreds of thousands of people from inside Chad and from neighbouring CAR and the Darfur region of western Sudan.