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UN peacekeepers to replace EU force in Chad

UNITED NATIONS: The Security Council on Wednesday authorized 5,200 U.N. peacekeepers to replace a 3,300-strong European Union force in Chad and Central African Republic, which have been seriously affected by fighting in neighboring Sudan’s Darfur region.

The EU force has focused on helping to protect civilians, improve security, and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to an estimated 500,000 people in eastern Chad and protecting a critical airport in northeastern Central African Republic.

The United Nations already has a mission in the two countries, made up of 863 people including 236 international police and 46 military liaison officers.

Its main focus has been selecting and training a new unit of Chad’s police and military police to maintain law and order in refugee camps, key towns and areas with large numbers of displaced civilians. The resolution adopted unanimously Wednesday extends the mandate for the U.N. Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad until March 15, 2010, and authorizes a new military component to take over from the European force on March 15 of this year.

Thursday, AP

 

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