Chad has asked the U.N. not to renew the mandate of the world body's mission in the central African country in March, a Chadian official told Reuters on Jan. 18. "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 tactical move aimed at reforming the force's mandate.

"The mandate of MINURCAT is due for renewal by 15 March 2010," said a U.N. spokesman in New York. MINURCAT's year-long mandate began last March, when 5,000 U.N.-commanded troops took over from a European Union force. It is responsible for ensuring security for humanitarian actions, particularly in the northeast of Chad, which borders Sudan's Darfur. (Reuters)

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