UN Military Force took over EUFOR on 15 March 2009
Abéché, 15 March 2009-- On the 15th of March, the United Nations took control of the military component of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), thus replacing EUFOR, the European Union force, whose year-long mandate expired on this date. Several high-ranking civilian and military officials representing the Chadian Government, the EU, France, and the UN, as well as members of the diplomatic corps, and local dignitaries attended the ceremony.
The UN military will, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1861 (2009), ensure continuity by providing security to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in eastern Chad and in northeastern Central African Republic.
More specifically, MINURCAT is tasked with the following mission:
(i) contribute to the protection of civilians in danger, particularly refugees and displaced persons;
(ii) facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and the free movement of humanitarian personnel through the improvement of security in the area of operations;
(iii) and contribute to protecting UN personnel, facilities, and equipment, and ensuring the security and freedom of movement of its staff and associated personnel. The UN operation will also endeavor to create the conditions for the voluntary return of IDPs to their original homes.
Several EUFOR contributing countries such as Albania, Austria, Croatia, Finland, France, Ireland, Poland and Russia will continue to serve the peacekeeping mission under the UN banner. Newcomers include African, Asian and European countries alike, namely from Ghana, Nepal, Norway and Togo.
The new UN force will include up to 5,200 troops and is headquartered in the eastern Chadian town of Abéché.