The withdrawal of the UN Mission to Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) is due for completion by 31 December as per SCR 1923 (2010). Given the history of insecurity and human rights violations, there is great concern about a potential ensuing crisis for civilians. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees for example has largely depended on the Mission to provide security for supplies to some 3,500 Sudanese refugees at Sam Ouandja, in CAR. In eastern Chad, the UN has reported continuing human rights abuses, including sexual and gender-based violence. The Council is urged to ensure that:
- The protection of civilians and humanitarian assistance in places previously served by MINURCAT and elsewhere is addressed by the governments of Chad and CAR in order to protect civilians, in particular displaced women and girls.
- The Chad and CAR governments are held to account for any failure to deliver on their protection responsibilities.
- International partners are encouraged to focus on building the capacity of the CAR and Chad authorities to protect civilians and develop an independent and impartial judiciary.
MarchWith elections now expected on 8 May, UN attention to the situation, including in regards to women, remains all the more important, particularly following the mandate end of UN Mission to Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) in December 2010 and conclusion of its ‘liquidation’ phase by 30 April 2011. The Secretary-General’s report expected by April 2011 on the ‘protection of civilians, especially women and children’ (as per Presidential Statement 2010/29 of December 2010), will be hampered by inadequate monitoring and reporting structures following MINURCAT’s departure, including the departure of some 40 human rights monitors. The Council is urged to request corrective measures by the Secretary-General to ensure that the Council receives the information necessary to inform its decision on whether or how the Council will continue its engagement in Chad.
AprilWhen considering the report on the situation in Chad and the Central African Republic, the Council is urged to review the barriers faced by the report’s contributors in gathering information, including on the status of women, essential to inform the Council’s decisions on further engagement in Chad and CAR. The Council should remain seized of the situation in these countries, and put in place a mechanism to effectively monitor the Chadian government’s implementation of its protection commitments. To this end, the Council is urged to ensure that the international human rights presence in the country is increased.
MayWhen considering the report on the liquidation phase of the UN Mission in Chad and CAR (MINURCAT), the Council is again urged to review the barriers faced in gathering information on the ground, including specific information on the status of women. The Council should remain actively seized of the situation in Chad and CAR, and put in place a mechanism to effectively monitor the Chadian government’s implementation of its protection commitments. The Council is urged to support the creation of a fully-mandated field office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Chad. The office should be well-resourced in order to monitor human rights and rule of law activities effectively, and to ensure victims’ access to justice and that perpetrators do not enjoy impunity. The office must maintain a strong presence in the eastern part of the country.
JanuaryIn view of concerns about violence against refugee women, the next MINURCAT report should include information about: efforts to ensure that women take part in initiatives to ensure their safety; increased resources for services for survivors; ending impunity for rape and other violence against women and girls inside and outside refugee camps; and concrete steps to provide better security, including regular patrols inside and outside the camps and a more strenuous vetting process for recruitment of national and international security forces.
The forthcoming Humanitarian Situation Report on Chad and the Mission Report for the Central African Republic should provide analysis on the ongoing problems faced by the under-resourced MINURCAT mission. With women’s protection a key security issue for the mission, the levels of sexual violence – particularly in refugee camps – remains high. The reports should specify what action needs to be taken regarding women’s empowerment and protection.
MarchIn the forthcoming discussions over mandate renewal of MINURCAT, concerns for women’s safety should be central to discussions about the possible withdrawal of the UN Mission from Chad, where there is almost total impunity for sexual violence crimes committed by Chadian and Sudanese armed opposition groups, bandits and members of the Chadian security forces. No withdrawal of the mission should be considered at this time. Withdrawal would further endanger the security and rights of women in eastern Chad. The Council should:
- Renew MINURCAT’s mandate and authorize its continued deployment as per the Council’s original plan in SCR 1861;
- Ensure the phasing out of the mission is based on meeting the benchmarks the Secretary-General outlined in his December 2008 report to the Council. In this regard, it should require MINURCAT to work with the Chadian government to set out a plan for meeting key benchmarks and phasing down its operations.
- The mandate should ensure women’s participation in all aspects of planning, implementation and programming, including location and frequency of security patrols, education and livelihood opportunities, and reproductive health services.
- Monitoring and evaluation procedures should address human rights violations, especially violence against women and girls inside and outside of refugee camps, including increased resources for services for survivors.
MayAfter a rollover in March 2010, the mandate for MINURCAT expires on 15 May. Concerns for women’s safety should be central to the forthcoming discussions, particularly as there is near impunity for sexual violence committed by Chadian and Sudanese armed opposition groups, bandits and members of the Chadian security forces. A withdrawal of the mission or a change in its mandate could gravely endanger the rights and security of women in the area. MINUCAT’s mandate and the levels of UN troops in the country must be appropriate to maintain protection activities. Specific entry points include:
- Renewing MINURCAT’s mandate and authorize its continued deployment as per the Council’s original plan in SCR 1861;
- Reflecting realistic assessments of the situation on the ground, phasing down the Mission’s operations should only be considered after key benchmarks the Secretary-General (outlined in his December 2008 report to the Council) are achieved;
- Ensuring women’s participation in all aspects of planning, implementation and programming, including location and frequency of security patrols, education and livelihood opportunities, and reproductive health services.
- Ensuring monitoring and evaluation procedures address human rights violations, especially violence against women and girls inside and outside of refugee camps, including increased resources for services for survivors.