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Thursday, 27 September 2007 - Strasbourg
Chad and the Central African Republic

European Parliament resolution of 27 September 2007 on the ESDP operation in Chad and the Central African Republic

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the conflict in Darfur and its wider regional impact, in particular on eastern Chad and northern Central African Republic (CAR),

–   having regard to UN Security Council Resolution 1706 (2006) of 31 August 2006, which stressed that regional security aspects must be addressed to achieve lasting peace in Darfur,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the Council for General Affairs and External Relations meeting of 23 to 24 July 2007, asking its competent bodies to continue planning a possible decision on a bridging operation, in the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), in support of a multi-dimensional UN presence in eastern Chad and north-eastern CAR with a view to improving security in those areas,

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

–   having regard to the UN Secretary-General's report on Chad and CAR of 10 August 2007, recommending that an international presence be deployed in eastern Chad and north-eastern CAR in order to improve the security of refugee and displaced populations, facilitate the supply of humanitarian aid and create conditions for reconstruction and development work in these areas,

–   having regard to the Arusha meeting on peace in Darfur, which was held from 3 to 6 August 2007,

–   having regard to the signing in N'Djamena on 13 August 2007, in the presence of the international community and of Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno, of the political agreement with a view to reinforcing the democratic process in Chad by all relevant Chadian political parties in power and in opposition,

–   having regard to the UN Security Council presidential statement of 27 August 2007 confirming the UN Security Council's readiness to establish a UN mission in Chad and welcoming the European Union's intention to provide support in the form of a military ESDP mission,

–   having regard to the adoption by the Council on 10 September 2007 of the "crisis management concept" by written procedure,

–   having regard to the findings of its Development Committee delegation to Darfur, which visited Sudan and Chad from 30 June to 6 July 2007,

–   having regard to its resolution of 12 July 2007 on the situation in Darfur(1),

–   having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   extremely worried about the worsening humanitarian situation in Chad where, because of the cross-border effects of the conflict in Darfur, about 238 000 refugees from Sudan, 44 600 refugees from CAR and 170 000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are hosted in 12 camps along Chad's eastern border with Sudan,

B.   preoccupied by the security situation in eastern Chad, which has deteriorated since 2006 as a result of clashes between Chadian security forces and Chadian rebels, and incursions of Janjaweed militias and armed groups from Sudan, to which banditry and attacks on humanitarian organisations must be added,

C.   whereas civilian populations in north-eastern CAR have also experienced attacks by rebel forces from Sudan,

D.   whereas a contribution must be made to stabilising the region, which is affected by the Darfur conflict, as part of a global and regional approach,

E.   whereas long-term stability in Sudan, Chad and CAR calls for respect for human rights, the rule of law and good governance,

F.   welcoming UN Security Council Resolution 1769 (2007) authorising the deployment of an AU/UN force of 26 000 soldiers in Darfur, which will contribute to pacifying the whole region in combination with the deployment of a UN police force and the planned ESDP operation in eastern Chad and northern CAR,

G.   whereas the Chadian and CAR authorities have given the UN Secretary-General confirmation of their agreement to the deployment of an EU multi-dimensional presence,

H.   supporting the efforts of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to find a negotiated solution to the conflict in Darfur by promoting contacts between the Sudanese authorities and the various rebel groups,

I.   welcoming the signing in N'Djamena on 13 August 2007 by all the Chadian political parties of an agreement aimed at reinforcing the democratic process in Chad,

J.   noting the efforts by regional actors to find a solution to the internal conflict inside Chad with the groups that did not sign the previous agreement,

K.   welcoming UN Security Council Resolution 1778 (2007) of 25 September 2007 authorising the EU to send a peacekeeping force with a robust mandate to Chad and CAR,

1.  Recalls that no peacekeeping mission in eastern Chad and northern CAR can be successful without a genuine political reconciliation process;

2.  Calls, therefore, on the Council, the Commission and the United Nations to coordinate their efforts in order to create conditions that would enable the different parties to the conflict in the broader region of Darfur, eastern Chad and northern CAR to find a political solution which would end the insecurity and resulting humanitarian disaster in the area, facilitating the return of the refugees and IDPs to their places of origin;

3.  Endorses the launch of an ESDP operation in eastern Chad and northern CAR, to last for one year, but makes its final approval conditional on the fulfilment of the following:

   a) the mission of the European force (EUFOR) must create the conditions necessary for a secure environment for the work of the UN police force, the return of IDPs, the supply of humanitarian aid, the free movement of humanitarian personnel and the continuation of the dialogue between the political forces in the region;
   b) it is extremely important that EUFOR is seen to be impartial; the composition of EUFOR should therefore be diverse and Member States should contribute the necessary troops as soon as possible;
   c) at the same time, and in order to avoid becoming a target, EUFOR must remain neutral with regard to the complex political situation in the region by avoiding becoming involved in fights between governmental authorities and rebel groups;
   d) in full compliance with the principles of international humanitarian law, EUFOR should not become involved or interfere with the tasks performed by the NGOs present in Chad and CAR, in order not to endanger them;
   (e) EUFOR must establish effective coordination with UNAMID in order to secure the area under its responsibility in the most efficient way;
   (f) EUFOR must work as a deterrent force, which means that it must have a robust mandate under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and clear rules of engagement allowing the use of force when necessary, in particular to prevent attacks on civilians, camps and villages, humanitarian workers or UN police officers, as well as in self defence;
   g) in order to deter any potential aggressor, EUFOR must have the necessary number of troops and must be equipped appropriately; it must be able to secure its supply lines and conduct long-range patrols with armoured vehicles, helicopters (including transport and attack helicopters) and reconnaissance planes;
   (h) EUFOR must be considered as a bridging force with a temporary mandate; a clear exit strategy must therefore be defined before the deployment begins, which should foresee the replacement of EUFOR by a successor operation (an AU, a UN or a hybrid force) in order to provide for the successful conclusion of its mandate and the timely return of the troops committed;

4.  Regrets that this ESDP operation cannot be conducted, for many reasons, from the newly established operations centre of the European Union in Brussels;

5.  Underlines that its final approval of the ESDP operation will be subject to its being kept fully informed of the different phases in the preparation of the operation as regards, inter alia, the crisis management concept, joint action, the concept of operations, the operation plan, and the force generation process;

6.  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 Central African Republic and Sudan.

(1) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0342.

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