1 February 2008 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced deep concern at the deteriorating security situation inside Chad, where fierce fighting has resumed between Government forces and opposition groups, and called on the parties to settle their differences peacefully.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban “deplores any action that could worsen the already grave humanitarian situation, especially in eastern Chad, where the international community is actively engaged in activities to provide relief and secure the voluntary, safe and sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons in eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic (CAR).”
He also reiterated the United Nations’ long-standing condemnation of the use of military means to try to seize power.
“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to abide by their commitments under the different peace accords signed by them and to urgently resort to dialogue to reach a peaceful and negotiated settlement of this latest crisis.”
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has already had to evacuate most of its staff from the town of Guereda in eastern Chad because of the renewed tensions between the Government and rebels and because of a series of armed attacks in the area against agency staff and aid workers with non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Yesterday the international staff of both UN agencies and NGOs who are based in the capital, N’Djamena, located in the southwest of the impoverished country, were also advised to stay at home because of the tensions.
Last year the Security Council authorized the deployment of a multi-dimensional UN presence in eastern Chad and north-eastern CAR, including a peacekeeping mission to be known as MINURCAT, to stabilize the region. The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) is currently continuing its preparations to set up the mission.
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