I spent most of the day preparing for my trip to New York, which will start on Tuesday.
I will be addressing the Security Council on matters related to Chad. To Eastern Chad actually, because my mandate has nothing to do with the domestic political process that is taking place in the country. I am supposed to focus just on the security situation in area along the border with Darfur.
In and around Farchana, in the Ouaddai Region of Eastern Chad, there are four refugee camps, with a total of 87,000 people. They came from Darfur, in Sudan, the first batch in 2004 and they are still crossing in.
I spent time today listening to some of their representatives. They all would like to go back home and rebuild their lives. But they know that the Darfur situation is too complex and they might have to wait for a long while.
In the meantime, the resources to take care of them are getting thinner. Less money for food, for instance. The classrooms are too big, to save on teachers and materials, but how much can each one learn, if the class is about 150 children? Then, the women complained that they have not received any soap for the last two months. The malaria season is at its peak and there is not enough medicine.
But all in all, security remains the key issue. Outside the camps, for sure, but also inside. The national gendarmerie is doing its bit, but they lack resources, men, supervision and motivation. The local administration is well informed but there is no supporting structure, no administrative capacity to coordinate, respond or direct.
And nobody is ever brought to justice.
The deployment of the new generation of Police and Gendarmes, trained by MINURCAT, has to take place soon. Certainly before the end of the rainy season. The first group is now ready, but there is still some legal red tape to be addressed.