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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 Pasqualina Napoletano, Marie-Arlette Carlotti, Ana Maria Gomes, Alain Hutchinson, Glenys Kinnock, Josep Borrell Fontelles
on behalf of the PSE Group
on recent unrest in Eastern Chad and the urgency of the deployment of EUFOR CHAD/CAR

Procedura : 2007/2680(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on recent unrest in Eastern Chad and the urgency of the deployment of EUFOR CHAD/CAR

The European Parliament,

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

-  having regard to its resolution of 26 September 2007 on the ESDP operation in Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR),

-  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 joint action adopted by the Council on 15 October 2007 on the EUFOR CHAD/CAR operation,

-  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 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,

B.  whereas an armed struggle between the Chadian army and rebels of the United Force for Democracy and Development (UFDD) and Rally of Forces for Change (RFC) has resumed after the fragile peace deal has unravelled at the end of November 2007,

C.  whereas accordingly to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) the surge in fighting in eastern Chad between government forces and rebels 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,

D.  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,

E.  whereas the fighting is hampering the World Food Programme (WFP) operations in eastern Chad, preventing it from access to some refugee camps and delaying food dispatches to others; whereas fighting near Farchana, where three refugee camps are located, has made humanitarian operations particularly difficult; whereas at least on one occasion a WFP-contracted truck loaded with WFP food was attacked by armed bandits,

F.  whereas increasing incidence of banditry in Eastern Chad is forcing humanitarian agencies to reduce staff and movements in key towns, further restricting their ability to provide much needed humanitarian assistance,

G.  whereas on 15 October 2007 the Council adopted a joint action on the operation EUFOR CHAD/CAR designed to contribute to protecting civilians in danger, particularly refugees and displaced persons, to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and the free movement of humanitarian personnel by helping to improve security in the area of operations and to contribute to protecting UN personnel, facilities, installations and equipment and to ensuring the security and freedom of movement of its staff and UN associated personnel,


H.  whereas the deployment of EUFOR CHAD/CAR troops is being delayed due to lack of ground and air transport equipment,

I.  whereas any domestic instability in Chad - together with the insecurity of the border region of eastern Chad, Darfur and the Central African Republic - will also have a negative effect and impact on the EUFOR CHAD/CAR operation once it is deployed,

J.  whereas international concerns over the conflict have heightened since the UFDD threatened to attack the French or any other foreign force deployed in the EUFOR CHAD/CAR mission,

K.  whereas grave conflict-related violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law continue in eastern Chad; whereas women and girls in the region are particularly vulnerable to such abuses, continuing facing rape and other sexual violence at the hands of armed groups,

1.  Calls for the immediate deployment of the EUFOR CHAD/CAR in the areas of recent violence and unrest in Chad; underlines that the countries of the EU and the UN have a responsibility to protect civilians, refugees and internally displaced persons in this region; stresses that these forces must have and use all means necessary, and in full compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law, to protect civilians at risk;

2.  Regrets that the EUFOR CHAD/CAR mission still lacks vital equipment to enable troops to carry out their duties, such as helicopters and medical supplies; calls therefore on the EU and its Member States to take urgent steps to honour the political decision made and to provide this mission with more troops and appropriate financial, logistical and air support; underscores that the credibility of the European Security and Defence Policy is at stake if it cannot mobilise sufficient troops and equipment to make this mission operational;

3.  Underlines the importance of guaranteeing the diversity of the composition of EUFOR CHAD/CAR, in order to make sure it is perceived as being neutral by local actors;

4.  Stresses that the international community and all parties to the present conflict have a responsibility to protect civilians, to allow delivery of aid and to respect humanitarian space and the safety of humanitarian workers; demands therefore that conditions be immediately created for adequate response to the ongoing human rights and humanitarian crisis in eastern Chad; calls on the Chadian authorities to fully cooperate with EUFOR CHAD/CAR in taking effective measures to protect civilians in eastern Chad;

5.  Recalls its resolution of 26 September 2007 endorsing the launch of an ESDP operation in eastern Chad and northern CAR and urges the Council and Commission to speed up the decision process for the launching of the operation in order to ensure that the first deployment of soldiers starts before the end of the year and that the mission will reach its full potential by February or early March of next year;

6.  Reiterates the importance of the neutrality of the European force and potential risks involved with the force being perceived as a French-led operation, therefore calls on other Member States to provide significant troop contributions to the force and for EUFOR to conduct a comprehensive communication strategy to communicate its neutral mandate to the local population.

6.  Stresses the regional dimension of the Darfur crisis and the urgent need to address the destabilising impact of the crisis on the humanitarian and security situation in neighbouring countries, including Chad, and reiterates its willingness to carry out this EU military bridging operation in support of a multidimensional UN presence;


7.  Deplores the President of Sudan's insistence that the UNAMID force, which the EUFOR CHAD/CAR is due to bolster, should be exclusively African in nature, and urges the Sudanese authorities to put an end to the delaying tactics that stand in the way of a rapid deployment of the AU/UN hybrid force;

8.   Emphasises that no peacekeeping mission in the eastern part of Chad and the northern part of the CAR can be successful without a genuine political reconciliation process; calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities by all parties, followed by a negotiated ceasefire with comprehensive monitoring mechanisms;

9.   Urges the European Union to press for a comprehensive peace process, using pressure and incentives to encourage all parties to return to the negotiation table and for talks to address all levels of conflict currently taking place within Chad including government-rebel tensions and interethnic conflict.

10.  Calls on Chadian authorities to investigate reports of rape and other serious human rights violations and abuses and bring its perpetrators to justice;

11.  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.