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with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure
by Tobias Pflüger, Mary Lou McDonald, Willy Meyer Pleite, Marco Rizzo
on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
on recent unrest in Eastern Chad

Eljárás : 2007/2680(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on recent unrest in Eastern Chad

The European Parliament,

- having regard to the conflict in Darfur and the wider regional impact in particular to the eastern part of Chad and the northern part of the Central African Republic (CAR),

- having regard to its previous resolutions on human rights in Chad,

- having regard to the UN Security Council resolution 1778 of 25 September 2007 which provides for the deployment of a multi-dimensional international presence in eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic (CAR) including the ESDP mission EUFOR CHAD/CAR,

- having regard to the UN Security Council Resolution 1769 of 31 July 2007 establishing, for an initial period of 12 months, an AU/UN hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID),

-  having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas rebel groups, government officials and foreign observers all affirm that the battles that have taken place since 26 November have been the hardest seen in Chad since president Deby took power by arms in December 1990,

B.  whereas despite heavy loses following a number of intensive battles in eastern Chad, the Chadian army seems to be resisting the rebel groups that, although divided, are said to be determined to overthrow President Idress Deby Itno,

C.  whereas on Monday 26 November, hundreds of Chadian rebel fighters were killed along the Chad eastern border by the Chadian army; whereas on Monday 3 December, the Chadian army launched another offensive against Chadian rebel forces,

D.  whereas government forces and rebel groups have been fighting for more than a week since the collapse of a preliminary peace accord,

E.  whereas a rebel general has sent a letter to the Austrian prime minister, stressing his group’s support for a peace conference,

F.  whereas the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) issued a warning on Tuesday 4 December that the surge in fighting in eastern Chad between government forces and rebels over the past 10 days has limited its access to camps that are home to hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) and has heightened tensions in the area,

G.  whereas fighting has been concentrated mainly in the Farchana, Iriba, Biltine and Guereda areas, located to the north and east of the major town of Abeché, the main operational base for at least 12 refugee camps; whereas the areas near refugee camps to the south of Abeché such as Goz Beida have also become less secure,

H.  whereas about 238 000 refugees from Sudan, 44 600 refugees from the Central African Republic and 170 000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are hosted in 12 camps along Chad's eastern border with Sudan,

I.  whereas according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), humanitarian aid activities are being threatened by the security situation on the ground,

J.  whereas the Chadian President Idriss Deby very recently sacked the United Front for Change's leader Mahamat Nour Abdelkerim as defence minister, indicating tensions and fall-out at governmental level,


K.  whereas the calendar for the deployment of EUFOR CHAD/CAR which should have been launched before the end of November is gradually being put back; taking into account that there is a difference of views on the issue of deploying an EU mission to Chad between various EU member states,

L.  whereas from the beginning there was a risk that the EUFOR CHAD/CAR would not be perceived as neutral, following recent events this risk is even bigger, as rebel groups consider that it is supporting the president of Chad,

M.  whereas international concerns over the conflict have heightened since the UFDD (Union of Forces for Democracy and Development), another rebel group, threatened to attack the French or any other foreign force deployed in the EUFOR CHAD/CAR mission,

1.  Notes the recent internal violence and unrest in Chad but takes the view that a military mission can have no positive impact on the situation;

2.  Preoccupied by the deteriorating situation in Chad as well as by the lack of progress towards a political solution of the conflict, is nevertheless opposed to sending an EU military force to Chad and CAR;

3.  Calls for support to African Union efforts for a peaceful political solution of the conflicts affecting the area, and in this framework for an agreement to the refugee problem; calls for a peace conference on Chad to be convened immediately with the participation of all parties of the conflict;

4.  Emphasises the regional dimension of the Darfur crisis and the urgent need to reach a political solution through a negotiated agreement to the problems in order to avert further destabilisation in the region and a humanitarian crisis;

5.  Calls for all available funds to be used for encouraging a political process towards a solution;

6.  Calls for more humanitarian aid for the refugees and IDP and development aid for the region;

7.  Calls on all parties to refrain from the use of violence and avoid any action that can put the lives of the refugees, the IDPs and the humanitarian workers at risk, and to facilitate the work of the latter;

8.  Reiterates its concern for the risks for EU troops if deployed in the region as EU troops may no longer be considered a neutral force;

9.   Asks for a review of the “EU strategy for Africa” with the full involvement of the African countries; insists that any new strategy should be based on the principles of partnership, equality, respect and cooperation; supports African leaders who have resisted pressures to sign EPA’s despite warnings that development aid will be cut off;

10.  Expresses its concern over the increase in illegal sales and smuggling of weapons, notably illicit small arms and light weapons, landmines and Weapons of Mass Destruction, to the African continent;

11.  Asks the Council to inform prior to any action and on a regular basis the European Parliament, especially through its Subcommittee on Security and Defence, on all aspects of planned EU operations;

12.  Is concerned about the increase of military missions of the EU instead of seeking political solutions, consequently enhancing the introduction and implementation of the military aspect of the new draft of the Lisbon Treaty;

13   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the African Union, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Presidents, Governments and Parliaments of Chad, the CAR and Sudan.