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Chad: Overseas Aid

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response the Government have made to France’s request for EU partners to send a force of 12,000 troops to Chad to provide aid for civilians seeking refuge from the Darfur conflict. (142555)

We support renewed French efforts to improve the humanitarian situation in eastern Chad. The UK has long supported the proposal for a UN deployment to Chad, including through adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1706, and welcomes initial preparatory work in this direction by the UN Secretary-General. The UK is prepared to consider other proposals to move the situation forward, including the possibility of an EU role, although no formal request for such a role has yet been made and force numbers have not been discussed.

We remain very concerned about the humanitarian and security situation in eastern Chad. We are particularly concerned about: increasing levels of internal displacement due to inter-ethnic fighting and cross-border attacks from Darfur; the protection of refugees and internally displaced people; the security environment for humanitarian agency operations; and the fragility of the natural resource base to support displaced populations. We and our international partners continue to urge the Chadian government to accept a UN mission.