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16 June 2008 - Chad : Stakeout by Mr. Jean-maurice Ripert, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, following Security Council Presidential Statement

We are satisfied that the Security Council was able to adopt a presidential statement to condemn the activities of rebel armed groups in Chad that have been conducted since June 11, 2008. The Council re-stated its support to the government of Chad, to the integrity, sovereignty, independence of Chad, and the Security Council condemns the violation of international humanitarian law by the rebel groups whose presence denies of refugees, IDPs and civilians. The Council reiterated also its support to the MINURCAT operations and EUFOR who, hopefully, were there to protect the civilian population in the eastern part of Chad.

We also asked all the countries in the region to abide by their obligation under the Dakar agreement, and stop supporting armed groups.

And finally, the Security Council expressed its willingness, its readiness to envisage further measures against the people who are threatening civilians and violating their obligation under humanitarian law.

Could you discuss what sort of further measures ?

Well, you can guess, the measures will be targeting groups and individuals who are threatening civilian population and violating obligation under humanitarian law, so you can guess what we have in mind.

Will France be intervening militarily ?

Certainly not, and my minister Bernard Kouchner said this morning that time was not for any kind of French intervention. EUFOR is there to protect the population, and this is what they have done : they have protected the humanitarian workers and the population in the camps, the very camps that were visited by the Security Council a few days ago, and they have recovered a part of the cars and materials that had been stolen from the humanitarian community by the rebel groups, who are stealing some materials.

Is it for us to understand that this may be supported by Sudan ?

Well, you can see where they are coming from, and you can see where they are going back today : they are going back east.

Are you saying that the rebellion has been turned back ?

I am saying that, according to the information we have and that the Secretariat has, it seems that the rebels are leaving the eastern part of Chad and are moving north and east.

Any news about the French candidate for the DPKO ? No, I guess M. Ban Ki-Moon will tell you as soon as he has picked up someone.

What is the impact of the EU sanctions on Iran, that may be coming today ? How does that play into the efforts here ? Do you think the UN is side-lined because of the deadlock here ?

I think the visit of M. Solana and the new dialog we are trying to have with the Iranian authorities prove the fact that we are pursuing both tracks. Sanctions and pressure for the Security Council, and at the same time dialog with the Iranians. We offer some very heavy package to cooperate with Iran as soon as they suspend any kind of all dangerous sensitive activities. It seems they are not really ready to do so and so unfortunately we are not very optimistic for the moment.

Are you prepared, France and its partners, to move ahead in terms of drafting ?

It is too early. The meeting took place a few days ago, it is too early to know what we will be doing. Certainly we will be consulting among ourselves to see how to give a follow up to that meeting.

About this news that Thomas Lubanga may be released, that the case against him would fall upon the ICC : does France has a response to that ?

I am not commenting on judicial matters.

Is it France’s view that Myanmar is cooperating enough now ?

We are still thinking that Burma-Myanmar is not cooperating the way it should and that the way they are not cooperating enough is unfortunately one cause of the vulnerability of the population and probably of this still ongoing death toll in Burma.

So what about your plans ? Will this be on the Security Council agenda ?

We will see. For the moment everybody is trying to understand what is happening. You just do not go like that to the Security Council. You know very well that for the moment we are not many countries ready to talk about Burma in the Security Council. So it is very difficult, but we are still keeping some pressure.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU