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Chad: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment has been made of (a) the security situation in Chad and (b) the impact on the deployment of the EUFOR operation for Chad and the Central African Republic; and if he will make a statement. (186218)

The security situation in Chad remains unstable following rebel incursions into the capital, N'Djamena, on 2 February. As of 11 February 2008, the security situation in Chad is calmer, with Chadian rebel groups having retreated from N'Djamena. However, conditions on the ground have been changing rapidly. The UN estimates that over 30,000 people were forced to flee into neighbouring Cameroon as a result of the fighting, though many are now returning. There have been eye-witness reports of widespread looting in N'Djamena.

Deployment of the European Union mission to Chad (EUFOR), was delayed temporarily due to fighting in western Chad. However, Lieutenant General Nash, the EUFOR operation commander, indicated on 7 February that deployment could recommence with immediate effect. The EU agreed on 8 February that the mission should resume deployment, but agreed also to follow closely the evolution of the situation in relation to the mission.