United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad, EUFOR Chad/CAR

15 March 2009 - 28 December 2010

On 21 February 2008, the Defence Forces troop contribution to the UN mandated, EU-led peacekeeping mission to Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR) commenced. Initially the force was EU led (known as EUFOR Chad/CAR) the force has changed over to UN command on 15 March 2009 and is now known as MINURCAT. The Initial Entry EU Force consisted of Special Forces troops from Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland and Sweden.

Overall command of the EU mission rested with the Operational HQ in Paris, under Lieutenant General Pat Nash. He was appointed by EU Joint Action on 15 October, following Government approval on 02 October 2007. He exercised control of the eventual 3,700 strong mission on the ground through a Force HQ under French Brigadier General Jean Philippe Ganacia.

This EU mission was mandated under UN Security Council Resolution 1778 (25 September 2007), to operate in eastern Chad and work in conjunction with the civilian UN mission in the region (known as MINURCAT).

The military force is authorised to protect refugees, internally displaced persons (IDP's), humanitarian organisations and civilians in danger. This force will create a safe and secure environment whereby humanitarian aid can be delivered safely and the local population can go about their daily lives safely. MINURCAT's mission is very similar under UN Security Council Resolution 1861.

The Central African Republic and Chad rare some of the poorest countries in the world in terms of life expectancy, adult literacy, education, per capita income and overall human health.

The imposition of thousands of refugees fleeing persecution from neighbouring Darfur, ongoing internal strife and the effects of increasing desertification constitute a real crisis in the region. In addition, within Chad there have been multiple clashes in recent years between Government and rebel forces.

The Defence Forces have been authorised by Government to deploy for a 12 month period from 15 March 2009. Our EU commitment initially started with HQ staff and Initial Entry Force. On 24 April 2008, the 147 strong Advance party deployed to Chad to commence building the basic infrastructure for Camp Ciara that the Irish battalion operate from in Goz Beida in south eastern Chad.
The 97th Infantry Battalion deployed to the mission on May/June 2008 and was the first Irish Battalion to become operational in Camp Ciara and commenced patrolling within its large area of operations along the Chad/Sudan border in south eastern Chad. There was a large logistical operation to deploy the 3,700 tonnes of equipment (including over 100 vehicles) in order to allow the unit to establish and be self sufficient in its camp.
The UN mission MINURCAT assumed command on 15 March 2009 with some nations, including Ireland, remaining in Chad and donning the UN beret. They took over the mantle and challenges associated with our deployment with EUFOR Chad/CAR. In addition to the Irish in Camp Ciara there were also Finnish Reconnaissance troops working with the Irish Battalion.

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The 400 Irish troops of the 99th Infantry Battalion were under direct control of the MINURCAT Force Commander and his Irish deputy Brig Gen Gerald Aherne.
The EU mission was always intended to be a bridging mission whilst the force generation took place for the UN. Following a decision by the Chadian President to withdraw support for the MINURCAT military mission, the Irish Battalion withdrew in April 2010. Irish staff officers remained in FHQ until subsequent withdrawal when the military mission was closed on 28 December 2010.

Operation Details
Duration: February 2008 — Dec 2010
Operation type: UN Peace Enforcement Operation
Past Commitment: 2,800

MINURCAT Links

Visit the official website of MINURCAT

Visit the official website of EUFOR TCHAD/RCA

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