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Debates
Wednesday, 26 September 2007 - Strasbourg OJ edition

ESDP operation in eastern Chad and the north of the Central African Republic (debate)
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  Angelika Beer, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – (DE) Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, here are some more figures relating to what we are talking about: 230 000 refugees, plus a further 170 000 internally displaced persons and an estimated 700 000 people who are indirectly at risk from attacks.

We are here to close this gap, this vacuum, in the protection. That must be the focus of the European mission. Since yesterday, the condition of a robust mandate has been in place. The issue of neutrality is not resolved. At the moment, it looks as if the French troops already deployed in Chad will merely be boosted by a few countries. This puts both the neutrality and the success of the mission at risk.

What I want particularly from the Foreign Ministers who have to decide on Friday, however, is for them to ensure that the operational area of the EUFOR mission is clearly defined. This is still not the case at present. It would be a disaster if this mission were not permitted to operate where the help is most urgently needed, namely in the border area. I expect the European Union to negotiate with the regime in Chad and ensure that it has the right to operate along the 35 km border as well. Otherwise, this is a fig-leaf operation which could even put more people at risk.

 
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