CHAD: Human Rights Problems Persist in Eastern Chad, UN Reports

Friday, December 10, 2010
Western Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Despite Government efforts against human rights abuses in eastern Chad over the past two years, problems persist, including sexual and gender-based violence, recruitment of children by armed groups and jail conditions, according to a United Nations report released today.

"We recommend that the Government continue its efforts to guarantee respect for the state of justice and ensure that perpetrators of violations of human rights are held accountable for their acts," said Innocent Balemba Zahinda, chief human rights officer for the UN mission.

The report, compiled jointly by the UN mission in Chad and Central African Republic (CAR) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), covers the period from April 2008 to October 2010.

"After several years of conflict, eastern Chad still faces important challenges in the field of human rights, notably access to justice, impunity and also sexual and gender-based violence," the deputy head of MINURCAT, Rima Salah, said.

Earlier this week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned of immense humanitarian challenges in eastern Chad as MINURCAT wraps up its mission by the end of the year. The mission, set up by the Security Council in 2007 to help protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian aid to thousands of people uprooted due to insecurity in the two countries and neighbouring Sudan, is being terminated at the request of the Chadian Government, which has pledged full responsibility for protecting civilians on its territory.

"The humanitarian needs in eastern Chad are immense," Mr. Ban said in his latest report to the Council on the mission, noting that nearly 600,000 people – 255,000 refugees from the Darfur conflict in Sudan, more than 137,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs), some 43,000 returnees, and a host population of 150,000 – depend on assistance from 70 humanitarian organizations.