The UN mission MINURCAT launched a new programme on 4 January 2008 to train instructors for the Chadian police. The training seeks to “enhance the capabilities of Chadian police and gendarmes to provide effective police service to the population in eastern Chad affected by the Darfur crisis, including refugees, IDPs, and humanitarian workers.”
36 officers, including 20 international and 16 national participants, will take part in the seven day training and will train in turn 850 police officers over 4 months.
Developments on peacekeeping in the region:
On 7 January, the UN Secretary-General briefed members of the Security Council on preparations for the MINURCAT and the EUFOR Chad/CAR, whose deployment in eastern Chad and north-eastern CAR was authorized by resolution 1778 (2007) (SC/9221, AFR/1643).
Members of the Security Council expressed on their serious concern at the recent upsurge in activities of illegal armed groups in western Darfur and in eastern Chad, and at the resulting tension between Sudan and Chad.
Both countries were encouraged to pursue dialogue and cooperation, and all parties in Sudan and Chad were called on to respect their commitments, in particular in the Tripoli Agreement of 8 February 2006, the Riyadh Agreement of 3 May 2007 and the Sirte Agreement of 25 October 2007.
The security situation in Birao, which was particularly hard hit by the military operations that took place in the Vakaga region in November 2006 and March 2007, has begun to stabilize and people are gradually returning to their homes. The situation, nevertheless, has not improved in humanitarian terms. The direct impact of the fighting continues to be felt on a daily basis by many of those who were displaced.
The deterioration of the local infrastructure and economy, the abrupt end of the rainy season and the destruction of crops and property by flooding in the Vakaga region have further increased the population's vulnerability.
The ICRC which has been permanently present in Birao since October 2007 continues its distribution of essential relief to over 300 people living in the area. It also carries out activities to protect the civilian population and to spread knowledge of international humanitarian law among bearers of weapons, the political authorities and members of civil society while endeavouring to boost the operational and organizational capacities of the local branch of the Central African Red Cross Society.
HDPT Info Bulletin 41 (10-17 December 2007) is out with detailed information on current humanitarian and development activities in the CAR. It contains an overview on the most important developments and news from within and about CAR. The following topics are covered:
- UNICEF and Voix du Cœur celebrate the International Children’s Day of Broadcasting
- UN-lead workshop addressed concerns on human rights violations and lack of protection for civilians
- A presentation of the Central African NGO ‘Echelle’
- UNDP project trained 360 village chiefs in conflict mediation and 80 female judges in human rights issues.
The 2008 Coordinated Aid Programme
The HDPT in CAR has published its 2008 “Coordinated Aid Programme” (CAP), appealing to donor countries to fund urgent projects intended to meet the needs of one million people affected by the ongoing violence in the northern part of the country.
It reports that despite significant achievements, the situation in the country has continued to deteriorate in the. Violence between rebels, government forces, and bandits continues to haunt and displace people, many of whom have fled from their homes for a second time. Health and nutrition indicators point to the gravity of the situation and research suggests that gender-based violence touches well over 15% of women and girls in some parts of the north.
The international community’s response to the emergency has increased in recent months. In 2007 alone, NGOs and UN agencies established 35 offices around the country, compared to just seven a year earlier. Coordination has been strengthened by the establishment of clusters and the Emergency Response Fund (ERF). Led by the Humanitarian Coordinator with programme support from OCHA and administrative backing by UNDP, the ERF has played a critical role in the country by enabling more donors and NGOs to engage and to address emergencies as soon as they occur.
To continue its work in 2008, the HDPT has, together with the Government of CAR and donors, decided on three strategic priorities: enhancing the protection of people affected by the conflict in the north by stepping up the presence of humanitarian organisations; providing timely and adequate lifesaving assistance to people who are deprived of their rights; and ensuring coherence and complementarity between humanitarian assistance, early recovery, and development programmes. Clusters and innovative funding mechanisms, e.g. the ERF, will help the aid agencies to meet their priorities.
The CAP includes 76 projects.NGOs and UN agencies participating in this programme require US$ 92.6 million to meet the urgent needs of one million people struck by crisis in the northern part of CAR.
A list of prioritised projects can be found at: http://hdptcar.net/files/documents/CAP_2008_CAR_VOL2_SCREEN.pdf