African Press International (API)

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UN Security Council endorses resolution for peacekeepers for Chad, CAR

Posted by African Press International on September 27, 2007

Washington DC-(USA) The United Nations Security Council Tuesday unanimously passed a French resolution endorsing sending a European Union-UN force to Chad and the Central African Republic to protect civilians reeling from a spill over of the Darfur conflict.

The resolution was adopted by the councils 15 members, hours before French President Nicolas Sarkozy was to open a rare Security Council summit on African conflicts on the sidelines of the current UN General Assembly session.

The resolution approves the establishment in the two former French colonies, for a period of one year, of a UN “multidimensional presence intended to help create the security conditions conducive to a voluntary, secure and sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons.”

Under the proposed resolution, 300 UN policemen would be tasked with monitoring camps for Darfur refugees and internally displaced people, which number respectively 236,000 and 173,000 in Chad alone, according to the UN. The UN police officers would be protected by 3,000 European troops, mostly French, under a British general.

Humanitarian groups have been lobbying for urgent protection for refugees and internally displaced people in Darfur and eastern Chad, especially women who are the target of rampant sexual violence.

Non-governmental organizations have generally applauded Frances efforts to get the humanitarian mission to Chad and CAR under way. But some suspect France of having a hidden agenda in the deployment to its two impoverished former colonies.

During the council debate as well as during the General Assembly session this week, world leaders are likely to urge a speedy deployment of the 26,000-strong UN-African Union (AU) force to take over peacekeeping in Sudans war-ravaged Darfur region from the 7,000 ill-equipped AU troops.

The council is also likely to address the challenge of preventing countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone or Liberia, which recently emerged from devastating civil wars from relapsing into conflict.

Participants are also to examine the linkages between African conflicts and a variety of threats such as global warming, drug and arms trafficking, illegal exploitation of resources, terrorism and uncontrolled migration.

Published by Korir, API*APN tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 sourca.apa

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