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Tuesday, December 6, 2016
EU-backed Chad peace process 'dead in the water' says CAFOD
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¬†As China is urged to use its leverage with the Government of Sudan to help resolve the crisis in Darfur, CAFOD calls on member states of the European Union, especially France, to look closer to home at their own role in neighbouring Chad. Recent weeks have seen politically motivated arrests and disappearances of civilians who share the same ethnic identity as the rebels. This must bring into serious question the unconditional support the international community and more directly France has given to Chadian President Idriss Deby. Failure by the French Government and the European community to enable a political solution to the crisis in Chad will have serious consequences not only for the civilian population in Chad but for the stability of the region and for any hope of a resolution to the crisis in Darfur. CAFOD Humanitarian Policy Adviser Stephanie Brigden says: "The conclusion from today's EU External Relations Council demonstrates how European Foreign Ministers continue to pay lip service to a so-called political process for Chad which is already dead in the water. "President Deby is using the current state of emergency in Chad to rid the country of legitimate opposition. The EU's continued commitment to the August Accord, when key partners to the agreement have been arrested and detained is at best naÔve and at worst is a sign of support to a government committing serious violations of fundamental human rights." The EU force mandated to provide protection for civilians in Eastern Chad is not a panacea to the current crisis. In fact CAFOD believes a force made up predominantly of French troops may even make the situation worse. Rebel groups have said that they will regard the force as a belligerent party to the conflict. CAFOD believes the EU should publicly counter claims made by the Chadian Government that the goal of EU forces is to protect President Deby's regime otherwise there is every likelihood the neutrality of the force will be in question. This will put the civilian population at risk and could further jeopardise the ability of the international humanitarian community to provide aid.
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