Amnesty International Deeply Concerned Over U.N. Security Council Resolution to Pull Peacekeepers from Chad

May 26, 2010

(New York) — Amnesty International issued the following statement about the U.N. Security Council resolution adopted May 25 that transfers the full responsibility for the protection of civilians in eastern Chad to the Chadian government:

“We are deeply concerned about whether the Chadian authorities can adequately protect the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people in the region, including over a quarter of a million refugees from the violence in Darfur.

Indeed, the peacekeeping operation was demanded by the international community precisely because the Chadian government proved unable or unwilling to guarantee their safety.

One would be hard pressed to identify what has changed since the humanitarian and security crisis began. To avert a human catastrophe, the Chadian government must demonstrate a clear commitment to protect vulnerable civilians and guarantee the fundamental rights of all people within Chad’s borders.”

The resolution outlines the phased withdrawal of the U.N. peacekeepers as of July 15, with full withdrawal starting on October 15 and to be completed by the end of 2010. At least up until October 2010, the peacekeeping force, MINURCAT, will have the capacity to protect civilians but only if they are under imminent threat of violence and in the immediate vicinity of MINURCAT’s bases, with prior consultation with the government of Chad.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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