For immediate release, February 8, 2008:

On 28 January 2008, the European Union (EU) decided to commence preparations for the deployment of the EU Force in eastern Chad and north-eastern Central African Republic (EUFOR CHAD/CAR) also known as the (EUFOR TCHAD/RCA).

The deployment of EUFOR CHAD/CAR comes within the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). It is meant to improve the security situation in these regions and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the refugees from Darfur and the displaced persons in eastern Chad and north-eastern CAR. By this decision the EU is “ … stepping up its longstanding action in support of efforts to tackle the crisis in Darfur as part of a regional approach to that crisis”.

The representatives of Darfur civil society organisations and activists who met in a two-day conference held in Brussels, Belgium, on 2nd and 3rd February 2008 highly appreciate the effort of the EU member states to help end instability in these regions and ultimately put a halt to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

This bold decision sets a good example for other nations to follow suit.

Early deployment of EUFOR CHAD/CAR would help avoid a major humanitarian catastrophe of large scale in the sub-region reminiscent of the Rwanda genocide of 1994 particularly after involvement of Sudan’s intelligence in cross border activities through its allied rebel forces in Chad and CAR as well as the Janjaweed militia groups.

We, the undersigned, call upon the EU member states to accelerate the deployment of EUFOR CHAD/CAR and help provide the urgently needed security to more 250,000 refugees from Darfur in eastern Chad. It is estimated that eastern Chad is also host to at least 150,000 Chadian internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are in dire need for protection from the Janjaweed attacks. The situation in Chad has deteriorated manifold in recent weeks with the increase of banditry and the Khartoum-supported Chadian rebel activities including the recent attack against the capital N’djamena. Low intensity rebellion is wreaking havoc in north CAR. It is estimated that up to 200,000 CAR nationals live as IDPs in their own country and that about 100,000 others are refugees in Cameroon, Chad and Sudan.

Darfur Call (and sister-organizations), Registeration nr 34250790, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Address: Spaarndammerstraat 602, 1013 TH Amsterdam /The Netherlands, e-mail, Webpage, Tel: 0031 6 42 33 00 58, Fax: 0031 6 40 80 57 97.

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