Extracts from the joint press conference by Patrick Nash, EUFOR Chad/RCA Operation Commander and Torben Brylle, EU Special Representative for Sudan and for Operation EUFOR Chad/RCA, on the Operation EUFOR Chad/RCA
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 29/09/2008 First transmission: 29/09/2008
Patrick Nash, EUFOR Chad/RCA Operation Commander, and Torben Brylle, EU Special Representative for Sudan and for Operation EUFOR Chad/RCA, gave a press conference on the occasion of the mid-term mandate review of the operation and the report of the EU to the UN Security Council on how its operation is fulfilling its mandate. After 6 months on the ground, the military bridging operation EUFOR Chad/RCA in Chad and the Central African Republic has had a tangible effect on improving the overall security and perceptions of security in the region. The security situation is expected to remain stable but fragile and continuing to ensure a safe and secure environment in which humanitarian actors can operate effectively and which provides the conditions for MI)URCAT to fully deploy, will be critical to success.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival to the press room
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by Torben Brylle, EU Special Representative for Sudan and for Operation EUFOR Chad/RCA: For this operation you recall that EUFOR was launched as part of an EU comprehensive regional approach to address the serious regional ramifications of the conflict in Darfur and the deep humanitarian crisis that this conflict has created in the Eastern part of Chad, affecting the border areas of the two countries and the Central African Republic, and destabilizing in an already volatile region captured by huge number of internally displaced persons and refugees; the latest figures from the Secretary General talk about a number of refugees in the order of 290,000 people and 180,000 internally displaced persons, and beyond that there is an impact on the local population as well.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by Patrick Nash, EUFOR Chad/RCA Operation Commander: This involved 9 sea moves, over 1,500 containers, 540 strategic flights, 150 vehicle convoys over 2,000 km and 365 aviation flights; the construction of infrastructures from "brown field" camps to finished camps involved a huge programme of building; overall, we have completed 6 camps including 4 with the capacity for 600 personnel and 1 with a capacity for over 2,000; major works have also been completed on N'Djamena and Abeche airport to facilitate the deployment.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by Patrick Nash, EUFOR Chad/RCA Operation Commander: Because of EUFOR presence, regular patrolling and planned targeted operations, there now exists a greater "sense of security"; IDPs and refugees have expressed their view that they feel safer and the humanitarian associations know that they can rely on EUFOR in a crisis; this Military Bridging Operation has succeeded in gaining an initiative towards positive development; the UN follow-on-force arrangement can maintain this progress; EUFOR's solid foundation has prepared the way to build future successes contributing to the long-term beneficial impact of a safe and secure environment for these most vulnerable in Eastern Chad and North-Eastern Central African Republic.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by Patrick Nash, on a question of a possible dependency on Russian helicopters: We have very capable forces, doing an excellent job; the statistics are tremendous from the point of view of patrolling, and as I mentioned during the wet season, the helicopters offer sustaining and operational effectiveness; the helicopters do give me a new implement to use, because we are in a vast country, we want to be active, we want to be in places that we can react, and we want to have the element of surprise; helicopters - in a country of the size of Chad and in the area of the operations of the size of Chad - give you that extra dimension; the more helicopters I have, the more flexibility the EUFOR commander has.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by Patrick Nash: We are fully operational up to 15 March; our planning in this advance, with the view to recovery, is in the context of UN for a possible handover; if it is recovery, our estimated timeline at this stage is to have all the troops and equipment out of Chad on around 1 June, it is before the rainy season.