Thank you, Mr. President. I would like also to thank Special Representative to the Secretary-General, Angelo, for his briefing this morning. We appreciate MINURCAT's work in contributing to the security of refugees and internally displaced persons in Chad and the Central African Republic. The United States is also grateful to the governments of Chad and the Central African Republic for their support of MINURCAT and their commitment to providing humanitarian organizations access to those in greatest need.
Today, I would like to discuss briefly four issues: MINURCAT’s deployment, the activities of the UN-trained Chadian special police, increasing levels of violence in the Central African Republic, and the deterioration of relations between Chad and Sudan.
First, we recognize the difficulties of deploying to Chad and CAR, and we acknowledge that it has only been four months since the March 15 transfer of authority from the European Union Force to MINURCAT. Nonetheless, we are concerned that the deployment of troops has been impeded by delays in the procurement of contingent-owned equipment. The currently deployed contingent of forty-six percent is insufficient to provide the level of security and assistance required in MINURCAT’s mandate. We share the concern of the Secretary-General that a security gap of any duration leaves the mission unacceptably vulnerable. The United States will continue to provide equip-and-train programs to deploying African contingents. We urge all organizations assisting with the deployment to take immediate steps to expedite troop deployments and to ensure that those troops are adequately trained and equipped to perform the mission’s mandate.
Second, we are pleased that the activities of the UN-trained Chadian special police, the Integrated Security Detachment, DIS, have resulted in improved security in and around refugee and internally displaced persons camps. However, we continue to be concerned about deficiencies in training and equipping the DIS. Recent attacks on the DIS sadly demonstrate that the DIS must enhance its capacity to defend itself against armed bandits. There also have been cases of serious misconduct on the part of some DIS officers, and we are glad that appropriate action has been taken in these cases. We believe the DIS would benefit from further UN training on weapons handling and police conduct. We look forward to receiving additional information from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations on its assessments of the DIS.
Third, we are deeply concerned about the growing violence in the Central African Republic caused by inter-ethnic disputes, banditry, and lawlessness. Internal displacement around Birao has increased. MINURCAT’s mandate in north-eastern CAR includes limited operations to extract civilians and humanitarian workers in danger, along with protecting UN personnel and equipment. We urge MINURCAT to maximize its capabilities to protect civilians and humanitarian actors in the area by ensuring that the troop contingent deployed to Birao remains at full strength at all times and by maximizing the number of patrols conducted.
Fourth, the insecurity caused by the operations of armed groups in Chad and Sudan jeopardizes the peace and security of the entire region. We urge both Chad and Sudan to work toward easing tensions and cooperating in implementing the Doha accord and previous agreements aimed at normalizing relations between the two countries. Both governments must end all military and logistical support to armed groups operating within their respective countries.
In conclusion, let me reiterate our strong support for MINURCAT. This mission functions in the midst of a complicated regional conflict and fragile security situation that no single actor is capable of resolving. We strongly encourage regional actors such as the African Union and the Arab League, along with regional member states, to use their good offices to influence the governments of Chad and Sudan to abide by existing peace agreements, end support to rebel groups, and take all necessary steps to protect and assist the vulnerable citizens within their borders.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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