- Chadian authorities have sent a formal request to the United Nations to extend its mandate in the central African country as the mission’s term ends in March.
The UN peacekeeping mission known as MINURCAT's began a year-long mandate in March 2009 to ensure security for humanitarian actions, particularly in the north-east of Chad, which borders Sudan's war torn Darfur region.
The call for extension of the mission comes amid rising tension between Chad and Sudan as the two neighbours are trading accusations of support to rebels fighting for more power.
Although the officials did not outrightly state the reason behind the call for extension, but UN sources have suggested that the request may be a tactical move aimed at reforming the force's mandate.
In December, the United Nations peacekeepers logistics convoy came under attack from unidentified armed men. The convoy was escorted by Members of the Chadian Detachement Integre de Securite (DIS) team.
MINURCAT forces comprised of Chadian police serve as part of a special security force entrusted with providing security to the campsites in eastern Chad that are home to thousands of Chadian internally displaced persons and refugees from the neighbouring Darfur region of Sudan.
Violence in Darfur erupted in early 2003, when mostly non-Arab rebels began fighting the Sudanese government and Khartoum responded by mobilising militia to quell the uprising.
The United Nations estimates the ensuing conflict claimed 300,000 lives and forced over two million people from their homes.
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