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Security Council approves 5500 UN peacekeepers for Chad Central African Republic

14 January 2009The Security Council today unanimously approved the deployment of some 5,500 United Nations peacekeepers to replace European troops in strife-torn areas of Chad and Central African Republic (CAR) until 15 March 2010. The Security Council today unanimously approved the deployment of some 5,500 United Nations peacekeepers to replace European troops in strife-torn areas of Chad and Central African Republic (CAR) until 15 March 2010.The UN Mission in CAR and Chad (MINURCAT) is scheduled to take over from the European Force on 15 March and the Council largely followed the suggestions made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his latest report on the issue last month.Eastern Chad faces an acute humanitarian challenge with over 290,000 Sudanese refugees from the Darfur war, more than 180,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and a further 700,000 individuals among host communities in need of food, water and health care. Northern CAR has also been affected by a spill-over from the Darfur conflict as well as by other armed groups.In its resolution, the 15-member Council stressed that the multidimensional presence in Chad and military presence in the CAR is intended to help create the security conditions conducive to a voluntary, secure and sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons, by boosting security protection, facilitating the provision of humanitarian aid, and promoting reconstruction and economic and social development.Some 4,900 troops and police backed by helicopters are to be deployed in eastern Chad and 500 troops will be stationed in northern CAR to provide force protection for one consolidated site, project limited longer range patrols, maintain a quick reaction force and undertake air field maintenance at Birao.The resolution empowers MINURCAT to “take all necessary measures, within its capabilities” to contribute to protecting civilians in danger, particularly refugees and IDPs, facilitate delivery of humanitarian aid and the free movement of humanitarian personnel, and protect UN personnel, facilities, installations and equipment.It calls on the Governments of Sudan, Chad and CAR to ensure that their territories are not used to undermine the sovereignty of others and to cooperate in putting an end to the activities of armed groups in the region and their attempts to seize power by force.It sets MINURCAT’s maximum strength at 5,200 military personnel, 300 police officers, 25 military liaison officers, and an appropriate number of civilian staff. read more