5748th Meeting (AM)
Deeply concerned about the humanitarian threat posed by armed groups on the borders of the Sudan's troubled Darfur region, the Security Council this morning decided to establish what it called a "multidimensional presence", in concert with European forces, in eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic.
According to resolution 1778 (2007), adopted unanimously by the 15-member body, that presence would consist of the new United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad, to be known as MINURCAT, and troops deployed by the European Union with a robust authorization to protect and support it. Both groups were mandated to operate for an initial period of one year.
MINURCAT, with an initial deployment of 300 police and 50 military liaison officers, would support elements of the Chadian police and liaise with other actors in the region to assist refugees and to counter threats to humanitarian activities, according to the resolution.
The text also stipulates that MINURCAT would help monitor the human rights situation in the region, and work with the Governments and civil society of Chad and the Central African Republic to promote human rights standards and put an end to the recruitment and use of child soldiers. It would also assist both countries in promoting the rule of law, in coordination with other United Nations entities.
The European Union operation, mandated under the binding Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, was authorized to take "all necessary measures" to help protect civilians in danger, to facilitate delivery of humanitarian aid and to help provide United Nations personnel with protection and freedom of movement.
In a related provision, the Council asked the Secretary-General to report to it on arrangements for following up the European Union operation six months from its start, including on a possible United Nations operation.
The meeting, which opened at 10:37 a.m., adjourned at 10:41 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1778 (2007) reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its resolutions and the statements of its president concerning Chad, the Central African Republic and the subregion, including resolution 1769,
"Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and political independence of Chad and the Central African Republic, and to the cause of peace in the region,
"Deeply concerned at the activities of armed groups and other attacks in eastern Chad, the north-eastern Central African Republic and western Sudan, which threaten the security of the civilian population, the conduct of humanitarian operations in those areas and the stability of those countries, and which result in serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law,
"Reaffirming that any attempt at destabilization through violent means or seizing power by force is unacceptable,
"Recalling that the Governments of Chad and the Central African Republic bear primary responsibility for ensuring the security of civilians in their territories,
"Reiterating its concern that the ongoing violence in Darfur, eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic might further negatively affect the region,
"Recalling the Tripoli Agreement of 8 February 2006 and the other bilateral and multilateral agreements between the Governments of the Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic, stressing that a proper settlement of the Darfur issue and an improvement of relations between Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic will contribute to long term peace and stability in the region, and welcoming the communiqué of the 70th meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, concerning the relations between Chad and the Sudan, which was held on 12 and 13 February 2007,
"Reiterating its full support for the efforts of the Secretary-General and of the African Union to revive the peace process begun by the Darfur Peace Agreement, consolidate the ceasefire and reinforce the peacekeeping presence in Darfur,
"Reaffirming its resolutions 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel, and 1674 (2006) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict,
"Reaffirming its resolution 1612 (2005) on children in armed conflict, taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Chad (S/2007/400) and the recommendations therein, and recalling the conclusions regarding Chad subsequently adopted by its Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (S/AC.51/2007/16),
"Bearing in mind the Convention relating to the Status of refugees of 28 July 1951 and its additional protocol of 16 December 1966,
"Emphasizing the need to preserve the civilian nature of the refugee camps and internally displaced persons sites and to prevent any recruitment of individuals, including children, which might be carried out in or around the camps by armed groups,
"Welcoming the signing on 13 August 2007 in N'Djamena of the Political Agreement for the reinforcement of the democratic process in Chad,
"Having examined the report of the Secretary-General (S/2007/488) of 10 August 2007 (hereinafter referred to as "the report of the Secretary-General") and its recommendations for the deployment of an international presence in the regions of eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic indicated in paragraph 37 thereof (hereinafter referred to as "eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic"),
"Welcoming the readiness of the European Union, expressed at the meeting of the Council of the European Union held on 23 and 24 July 2007, to consider the establishment, for a 12-month duration, of an operation to support the United Nations presence in eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic, and taking note of the letter dated 17 September 2007 from the Secretary-General/High Representative of the Council of the European Union (S/2007/560, annex),
"Welcoming the letter from the authorities of Chad dated 11 September 2007 (S/2007/540) and the letter from the authorities of the Central African Republic dated 17 September 2007 (S/2007/551) approving the deployment of an international presence provided by the United Nations and the European Union,
"Determining that the situation in the region of the border between the Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic constitutes a threat to international peace and security,
"1. Approves the establishment in Chad and the Central African Republic, in accordance with paragraphs 2 to 6 below and in consultation with the authorities of Chad and the CAR, of a multidimensional presence intended to help create the security conditions conducive to a voluntary, secure and sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons, inter alia by contributing to the protection of refugees, displaced persons and civilians in danger, by facilitating the provision of humanitarian assistance in eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic and by creating favourable conditions for the reconstruction and economic and social development of those areas;
"2. Decides that the multidimensional presence shall include, for a period of one year, a United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (the acronym MINURCAT is to be used in all languages), with the following mandate in eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic, in liaison with the United Nations country team:
"Security and protection of civilians
(a) To select, train, advise and facilitate support to elements of the Police tchadienne pour la protection humanitaire referred to in paragraph 5;
(b) To liaise with the national army, the gendarmerie and police forces, the nomad national guard, the judicial authorities and prison officials in Chad and the Central African Republic to contribute to the creation of a more secure environment;
(c) To liaise with the Chadian Government and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in support of their efforts to relocate refugee camps which are in close proximity to the border, and to provide to UNHCR, on availability and cost-reimbursable basis, logistical assistance for that purpose;
(d) To liaise closely with the Sudanese Government, the African Union, the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS), the AU/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) which will succeed it, the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA), the Multinational Force of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (FOMUC) and the Community of Sahelo-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) to exchange information on emerging threats to humanitarian activities in the region;
"Human rights and the rule of law
(e) To contribute to the monitoring and to the promotion and protection of human rights, with particular attention to sexual and gender-based violence, and to recommend action to the competent authorities, with a view to fighting impunity;
(f) To support, within its capabilities, efforts aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Governments of Chad and the Central African Republic and civil society through training in international human rights standards, and efforts to put an end to recruitment and use of children by armed groups;
(g) To assist the Governments of Chad and, notwithstanding the mandate of BONUCA, the Central African Republic in the promotion of the rule of law, including through support for an independent judiciary and a strengthened legal system, in close coordination with United Nations agencies;
"3. Decides that MINURCAT shall include a maximum of 300 police and 50 military liaison officers and an appropriate number of civilian personnel;
"4. Requests the Secretary-General and the Governments of Chad and the Central African Republic to conclude status-of-forces agreements for MINURCAT as soon as possible, taking into account General Assembly resolution 59/47 on the scope of legal protection under the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, General Assembly resolution 60/42 on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel and General Assembly resolution 61/133 on the Safety and Security of Humanitarian Personnel and the Protection of United Nations Personnel, and notes that the model status-of-forces agreement of 9 October 1990 (A/45/594) shall apply provisionally pending the conclusion of such an agreement with one or other of the countries;
"5. Endorses the police concept referred to in the report of the Secretary-General, including the provisions regarding the establishment of the Police tchadienne pour la protection humanitaire (PTPH), which would be dedicated exclusively to maintaining law and order in refugee camps, sites with concentrations of internally displaced persons and key towns in neighbouring areas and to assisting in securing humanitarian activities in eastern Chad, and, in this regard, encourages the Government of Chad to establish the PTPH, emphasizes the urgent need to provide logistical and financial support to the PTPH and requests the Secretary-General to mobilize member States and institutional donors for this purpose;
"6. Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
(a) Authorizes the European Union to deploy, for a period of one year from the date that its initial operating capability is declared by the European Union in consultation with the Secretary-General, an operation (hereinafter referred to as "the European Union operation") aimed at supporting the elements referred to in paragraphs 2 to 4, and decides that this operation shall be authorized to take all necessary measures, within its capabilities and its area of operation in eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic, to fulfil the following functions, in accordance with the arrangement to be concluded between the European Union and the United Nations, in liaison with the Governments of Chad and the Central African Republic:
(i) To contribute to protecting civilians in danger, particularly refugees and displaced persons;
(ii) To facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and the free movement of humanitarian personnel by helping to improve security in the area of operations;
(iii)To contribute to protecting United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment and to ensuring the security and freedom of movement of its staff and United Nations and associated personnel;
(b) Authorizes the European Union operation, at the close of the period referred to in subparagraph a, to take all appropriate measures to achieve an orderly disengagement, by means including fulfilment of the functions indicated in subparagraph a, and within the limits of its residual capacity;
"7. Invites the European Union, as may be required for the proper execution of the mandate of its operation, to take part in the liaison and support activities referred to in paragraphs 2 (b) to 2 (d);
"8. Invites the European Union operation to immediately take all appropriate measures to prepare its full operational capability and requests the Secretary-General to coordinate closely with the European Union particularly with regard to those arrangements required to ensure appropriate protection for United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment and ensure freedom of movement of United Nations staff;
"9. Requests the European Union, the Secretary-General and the Governments of Chad and the Central African Republic to cooperate closely throughout the period of deployment of the European Union operation, until its complete disengagement;
"10. Requests the Secretary-General to report to it, after due consultations with the Governments of Chad and the Central African Republic, six months from the date indicated in paragraph 6, subparagraph a, on the arrangements for following up the intended European Union operation which has been authorized for a one-year period, including a possible United Nations operation, depending on the developments in the situation, and notes that, to that end, the United Nations and the European Union shall perform an evaluation of needs before the date in question;
"11. Invites the Governments of Chad and the Central African Republic and the European Union to conclude status-of-forces agreements as soon as possible for the operation referred to in paragraph 6;
"12. Requests the European Union to report to the Security Council, in the middle and at the end of the period referred to in paragraph 6, subparagraph a, above, on how its operation will fulfil its mandate;
"13. Calls upon all the parties to cooperate fully in the deployment and operations of MINURCAT and the European Union operation, including by guaranteeing the security and freedom of movement of their personnel and associated personnel;
"14. Urges all the Member States, particularly the States bordering Chad and the Central African Republic, to facilitate the delivery to Chad and the Central African Republic freely, without obstacles or delay of all personnel, equipment, provisions, supplies and other goods, including vehicles and spare parts, intended for MINURCAT and the European Union operation;
"15. Encourages the respective Governments of the Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic to ensure that their territories are not used to undermine the sovereignty of others and to cooperate actively with a view to implementing the Tripoli Agreement and other agreements aimed at ensuring security along their common borders;
"16. Encourages the authorities and political stakeholders in Chad and the Central African Republic to pursue their efforts of national dialogue, with respect for the constitutional frameworks;
"17. Reaffirms the obligation of all parties to implement fully the rules and principles of international humanitarian law, particularly those regarding the protection of humanitarian personnel, and furthermore requests all the parties involved to provide humanitarian personnel with immediate, free and unimpeded access to all persons in need of assistance, in accordance with applicable international law;
"18. Takes note of the measures already undertaken by the authorities of Chad to put an end to the recruitment and use of children by armed groups, encourages them to pursue their cooperation with United Nations bodies, particularly UNICEF, and calls on all the parties involved to ensure that children are protected;
"19. Exhorts the donor community to redouble its efforts to address the humanitarian, reconstruction and development needs of Chad and the Central African Republic;
"20. Requests the Secretary-General to keep it informed of the liaison arrangements set out in OP2-b to 2-d above, and to report regularly on the security and humanitarian situation, including movements of refugees and internally displaced persons, in eastern Chad, the north-eastern Central African Republic and the region, of progress towards the objective of helping to create the security conditions conducive to a voluntary, secure and sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons and of the implementation of the mandate of MINURCAT, and to submit to it a report on that matter every three months;
"21. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
The Security Council had before it this morning a report of the Secretary-General on Chad and the Central African Republic (document S/2007/488), which summarizes the activities of a United Nations delegation led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to Chad and the Central African Republic, and a revised concept for a United Nations mission in eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic.
In his report, the Secretary-General recalls that, in document S/2007/97, he submitted proposals for a possible mandate, structure and concept of operations for a multidimensional United Nations presence in the region, with a view to addressing instability along the borders between the Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic, and the threat posed to the safety of civilian populations, in particular, refugees and internally displaced persons.
In the revised concept for the multidimensional United Nations presence in eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic, the Secretary-General proposes that the tasks and functions of the military component be performed by a European Union military force, accepted by Chad's President, for a period of 12 months, after which a follow-on arrangement, including a possible United Nations successor operation, could be put in place.
There would be no direct involvement of the multidimensional international presence in the border area. Chadian police and gendarmes selected to maintain law and order in the refugee camps and internally displaced persons sites would continue to serve under national authority, but they would be trained and monitored by the United Nations police component and provided with direct logistical support from the Organization.
According to the report, the new concept calls for the deployment of an operation, authorized by the United Nations, with three distinct elements: a multidimensional presence comprising civilian staff, United Nations police and a number of United Nations military liaison officers; a Chadian police component screened and trained by the United Nations presence and established to maintain law and order in the refugee camps and areas with concentrations of internally displaced persons and humanitarian activities in the eastern part of Chad; and the European Union military force to protect civilians at risk and provide wide-area security.
The overall presence would be coordinated by a United nations-appointed Head of Mission. The force should be authorized to take necessary action, supported by appropriate rules of engagement, and be equipped to respond robustly to any hostile action and to undertake deterrent and protection operations.
The Secretary-General observes in his report that the humanitarian situation in eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic has shown no signs of improving. In addition to the 236,000 refugees and 170,000 internally displaced persons in eastern Chad, there are also an estimated 700,000 people in host communities who are directly affected by the instability and violence in the region. In the Central African Republic, the sudden influx of Sudanese refugees in the Vakaga prefecture in early May provided a clear and unsettling illustration of the instability of that region. It is more important than ever, therefore, to address the insecurity that has forced so many people in those border areas to flee their homes, and the revised concept for an international multidimensional presence represents a unique opportunity to do so.
For the new approach to be developed successfully, the report says that the United Nations, the European Union and the Chadian authorities will have to coordinate very closely, beginning in the planning stages. Informal working-level contacts have been initiated between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the European Union planners. Should the proposals be approved, it would be extremely important to make provisions for robust and effective liaison and coordination mechanisms.
The Secretary-General stresses that his proposals should also be seen in the context of the rapidly evolving events in Darfur and, in particular, the acceptance by the Government of the Sudan of the heavy support package and the African Union-United Nations hybrid operation. The two deployments would have a material impact on the security situation in the region. Progress on the political track in Darfur will also have an impact, since it would likely lead to increased stability in Darfur and the possibility of refugee returns.
Even though deployment of an international presence in Chad and the Central African Republic could have a significant positive impact on the security situation there, the Secretary-General underlines that a lasting solution to the crises in the region can be achieved only through political agreements.
The Secretary-General recommends that the Security Council signal its intention to authorize the establishment of the proposed multidimensional presence in eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic, along the lines proposed in the report.
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