N'djamena 23 December 2009 - Some one hundred armed UFDR elements are currently deployed in the town of Sam Ouandja in the Haute Kotto district of the Central African Republic. Tensions in the area are running high following the grave road-cutting incidents of December 12-13 where three people were killed including two UFDR members. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Chad and the Central African Republic, Mr. Victor Angelo, travelled to Sam Ouandja on December 22nd, to assess the security situation and remind all parties of the humanitarian protection mandate for north-eastern CAR assigned to MINURCAT by the Security Council.
Accompanied by the Commander of the Togolese contingent stationed in Birao, the head of MINURCAT met with local authorities, civil society, the UFDR leadership, the Sudanese refugee committee and humanitarian workers. He encouraged all parties to continue discussions and reminded the UFDR of their responsibilities as a non-regular army calling on them to exercise restraint in expectation of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reinsertion (DDR) programme put in place by the Central African government with support from the international community.
Given the security risks and the precarious situation of the refugees, the Special Representative decided that MINURCAT would immediately increase its military presence in Sam Ouandja. He also expressed the hope that authorities based in the capital Bangui initiate mediation as soon as possible in order to restore calm.
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