The first officers from the United Nations Standing Police Capacity will depart for Chad today to start training recruits for a specialized Chadian police unit responsible for providing security to the 300,000 or so internally displaced persons and Sudanese refugees affected by the conflict in neighbouring Darfur.
"This is the first operation for the Standing Police Capacity (SPC) and five officers will leave for Chad today, while the 11 others will join them in December. Initially they will be based in the capital N'Djamena but as soon as the security conditions permit they will set up headquarters in the eastern city of Abeché," said SPC Chief Walter Wolf.
"There are already three UN Police (UNPOL) officers in the Chadian capital and on 30 November another 32 will arrive, and all these together with the SPC will help prepare the way for an eventual deployment of up to 300 UNPOL officers as mandated by the Security Council."
The main UNPOL objective in Chad will be to enhance the capabilities of the Chadian police and gendarmes to protect the population in the east by helping to recruit and train a force of around 850 national officers responsible for providing security to local civilians, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), Sudanese refugees and humanitarian workers, all affected by the crisis in Darfur.
"This deployment is very significant not only for Chad but for helping to stabilize the whole region. There are more than 230,000 Sudanese refugees in UN-managed camps and more than 170,000 IDPs in the east and south-east of Chad and these poor people continue to be the victims of armed groups, even inside these camps," said UN Police Adviser Andrew Hughes.
"With proper UN policing and European Union military deployment along with the recruitment and training of the Chadian police service this extremely unstable situation for these poor people can and must be improved."
The Security Council established a new UN peacekeeping mission to Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR), to be known as MINURCAT, in September with the mission also involving European Union military forces as well as UNPOL and SPC officers. This mission will complement the UN-African Union hybrid force planned for Darfur itself.