A senior U.N. official arrived March 23 in the Chadian capital to lead talks with that country’s Government on the future of the U.N. peacekeeping force in the African country and the neighboring Central African Republic (CAR). Under-Secretary-General Youssef Mahmoud and other officials with the world body is expected to spend nine days in N’Djamena holding discussions with Chadian authorities on the fate of the mission, known as MINURCAT. Earlier this month the Security Council extended the mandate of MINURCAT through May 15, but Chad has called for the withdrawal of the mission’s military component, saying it has served its purpose and it was better for Chadian forces to take over security responsibilities. Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said the technical roll-over of the mission until mid-May would “give some time to try to find agreement with the Chadian authorities.” He recently visited the country for talks with Government officials. (U.N. News Service)

About the author