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Chad and the Central African Republic : Action by France


MINURCAT consists of:

- 2300 people including:

__ more than 2000 servicemen

__ 240 police officers

__ 46 military observers

Once it has reached full operational capacity, the mission will consist of 5200 soldiers and 300 police officers.

France’s presence in MINURCAT consists of:

- 802 people including:

__ 784 servicemen

__ 18 police officers

This does not include the 1000 servicemen in France’s Epervier Operation, which supports MINURCAT’s deployment and activities on the ground.

  • From EUFOR to MINURCAT: France, the European Union and the UN in Chad and the Central African Republic

The crisis that has raged in Darfur since 2003 has regional humanitarian repercussions: there are half a million refugees and displaced persons in eastern Chad and in the northeastern Central African Republic (CAR).

France has played a key role in urging the Security Council to tackle this issue. It encouraged the adoption of resolution 1778 (September 25, 2007) which authorized the deployment of a United Nations mission in these two countries: MINURCAT, supported by a military component assigned to the European Union (EUFOR). This mission aims to restore the security necessary for the voluntary, long-term return of the persons who were displaced as a result of the conflict in this region along the borders of Chad, the Central African Republic and Sudan.

It also took the initiative with regard to resolution 1861, adopted on January 14, 2009, which authorized the deployment of a UN military component to take over from EUFOR and extended MINURCAT’s mandate (including this new military component) to March 15, 2010. The transfer of authority from EUFOR to MINURCAT took place on March 15, 2009.

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Handover ceremony from EUFOR to MINURCAT (March 15, 2009). Soldiers changing command and berets (Abéché).

France’s involvement:

The Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Bernard Kouchner, visited Chad on March 14 and 15 for the transfer of authority from EUFOR to MINURCAT.

"We are delighted by this incredible undertaking that involved first convincing and then developing this European force, EUFOR. It was not easy at the beginning but I now believe that it is seen as a success. […]. The transition of authority from the European Union to the UN is a remarkable step."

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Ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes. Photo : A. Arraou
Visite de M. Bernard Kouchner, ministre des Affaires étrangères et européennes, au Tchad (14/15 mars 2009): accueil des troupes irlandaises de la Minurcat à l’aéroport de Goz Beida.

Visit by Mr. Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, to Chad (March 14/15, 2009): welcoming Irish MINURCAT troops at Goz Beida airport.

  • Positive outcome for EUFOR

The EUFOR operation, comprising 3500 servicemen in 27 countries, managed to improve the level of security in its area of operation within one year (from March 2008 to March 2009) by introducing a mobile force operating over an area half the size of France.

Security incidents in eastern Chad dropped from 280 in 2007 to 160 in 2008. In order to achieve this the European force carried out:

- more than 2,000 patrols

- more than 250 security missions

- visits to more than 1,300 villages

- 500 aerial reconnaissance missions

EUFOR made it possible for 10,000 people to return to 22 villages. It facilitated the transport of humanitarian aid in collaboration with the UN agencies and the NGOs, in particular by providing security to aid convoys. It also provided medical care to the population. It prepared for the arrival of the UN military force, MINURCAT.

  • France’s active participation in the European force..

- France was the largest contributor to EUFOR

- It has committed 1650 servicemen out of a total of 3500

France has played a major role thanks to its Epervier Operation, which was introduced in 1986 in order to help re-establish peace and maintain the territorial integrity of Chad. It consists of more than 1000 troops. France has thus allowed the European force to establish itself in Chad by supporting the contingents as they traveled to the conflict zones, and by participating in the development of European and UN infrastructures, particularly in N’Djamena and Abéché.

France was responsible for logistics. It allowed the deployment of 3,300 servicemen from the European force and managed the daily operation of the force, taking responsibility, in particular, for the transport of supplies and the maintenance of machinery and equipment.

Under European command or with the support of the Epervier capacity, France has provided the main air power and intelligence assets to support the force.

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Ministère de la défense
Hélicoptère français de l’EUFOR

French EUFOR helicopter Retour à la table des matières

Lastly, with its battalion based in Forchana and the detachment in Birao, France has contributed to improved security in the areas of operation by conducting almost 850 patrols and security missions over an area of 115,000 km2.

  • .. within MINURCAT

France’s presence within MINURCAT (as of April 23, 2009)

France’s presence consists of 802 people including:

- 784 servicemen

- 18 police officers

Our personnel on the ground continues to carry out several types of mission:

- logistical support for the increasing capacity of MINURCAT and the gradual withdrawal of EUFOR.

- The French contingent in the Center section, which consists of 200 troops, will remain until relieved.

- The detachment in Birao will also continue its mission until relieved.

(updated : April 24, 2009)

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