January 18, 2010 / 5:03 PM / in 8 years

Chad says has asked UN not to renew mission

N‘DJAMENA (Reuters) - Chad has asked the United Nations not to renew the mandate of the world body’s mission in the central African country in March, a Chadian official told Reuters on Monday.

<p>Chad's President Idriss Deby leaves a session of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) summit in Dakar, Senegal, March 14, 2008. REUTERS/Normand Blouin</p>

“We have officially notified the special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General of our wish to not renew MINURCAT’s mandate,” said General Oky Dagache, Chadian President Idriss Deby’s representative to the MINURCAT, as the U.N. mission in Chad is known.

Dagache declined to give an immediate reason, but a U.N. source in Chad suggested the request may be a tactic move aimed at reforming the force’s mandate.

MINURCAT’s year-long mandate began last March 15, when 5,000 U.N.-commanded troops took over from a European Union force.

MINURCAT is responsible for ensuring security for humanitarian actions, particularly in the north-east of Chad, which borders Sudan’s Darfur.

“The meeting (with the U.N.) is on March 15 so we are still waiting, but we are in negotiations,” Dagache said.

Violence in Darfur erupted in early 2003, when mostly non-Arab rebels began fighting the Sudanese government and Khartoum responded by mobilising militia to quell the uprising.

The United Nations estimates the ensuing conflict claimed 300,000 lives and drove 2 million people from their homes.

Relations between Chad and Sudan are key to the conflict in Darfur, and the two countries have accused each other of supporting rebels fighting for more power.

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