Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and in Chad (MINURCAT) (S/2010/217)
1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1861 (2009) of 14 January 2009, by which the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) until 15 March 2010 and resolution 1913 (2010) of 12 March 2010 by which the Council extended the mandate of MINURCAT until 15 May 2010. This report provides an update on developments related to the implementation of the mandate of MINURCAT since my last report dated 14 October 2009 (S/2009/535) and recommendations for the tasks and configuration of MINURCAT after the expiration of its present mandate on 15 May 2010.
II. Political and security developments
A. Relations between Chad and the Sudan
2. During the reporting period, relations between the Governments of Chad and the Sudan improved significantly. The Governments of Chad and the Sudan signed an agreement in N'Djamena on 15 January 2010, with the view to normalizing their bilateral relations. They agreed, inter alia, to deny rebel groups the use of their territories and to work towards their disarmament. In accordance with the agreement, they deployed a joint border force of 3,000 troops with a view to denying the cross-border movement of armed elements and stemming their criminal activities. The force operates under a joint command based for an initial period of six months in El Geneina, in Darfur, and then Abéché, in eastern Chad. The visit of President Idriss Déby Itno to Khartoum from 8 to 9 February - the first such visit since 2004 and the first meeting between the two Heads of State since March 2008 - was a major step in strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. This visit was followed by the appointment, on 15 February, of a Chadian Ambassador to Khartoum. On 10 April, the border between the two countries reopened for the first time since 2003 at three points, and the cross-border trade has resumed.
3. In accordance with the 15 January agreement, Chad and the Sudan have facilitated talks with their respective rebel groups. The Framework Agreement to Resolve the Conflict in Darfur, which was signed by the Government of the Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) on 23 February in Doha, was negotiated on 20 February 2010 in N'Djamena, under the auspices of President Idriss Déby Itno. President Déby also facilitated talks with JEM in March in N'Djamena. From 1 to 4 April, a Chadian delegation met representatives of the Union des forces de la résistance (UFR) and the Résistance nationale armée (RNA) in Khartoum, with the facilitation of the Government of the Sudan. Although the meeting was reportedly inconclusive, Government and the armed opposition groups have indicated that they remain committed to dialogue.