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Publié par Mak

RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD

WISCONSIN

COMMITTEE

ON THE BUDGET

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

506 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING

WASHINGTON, DC 20510

(202) 224-5323

(202) 224-1280 (TOO)

feingold.senate.gov

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

tinitcd

 

SELECT

COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE

DEMOCRATIC POLICY COMMITTEE

WASHINGTON, DC 20510---4904

August 5,2008

The Honorable Condoleezza Rice

Secretary of State

U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street,NW

Washington, DC 20520

Dear Madam Secretary,

Despite widespread acknowledgement that the conflict in Darfur is having

profoundly negative repercussions in eastern Chad, we believe that too little

attention and too few resources have been devoted to Chad's internal conflicts and

weak governance. As you know, Chad is consistently rated one of the world's

most corrupt countries by Transparency International and least developed

countries by the UN Development Program. Th~Fund for Peace's 2008 Failed

States Index ranked Chad the fourth country most at risk of state failure. While

Chad is home to vast oil reserves that could provide significant revenue, economic

development has been undermined by corruption and instability.

The attempted coup staged by Chadian rebels in February 2008

- with support

from the Sudanese government - once again exposed the precarious position of the

current government in N'Djamena and the volatile political environment. Fighting

between the rebels and the government has increased in eastern Chad throughout

this year, while rebels based in Sudan have conducted cross-border attacks.

Increased banditry and criminality have also complicated the security situation.

Approximately 185,000 Chadians have been internally displaced since 2005 as a

result of fighting, in addition to the 250,000 refugees who have fled Sudan.

We were pleased by the State Department's press statement on June 16,2008,

acknowledging this increased violence and urging dialogue between rebel factions

and the Government of Chad. However, words should be followed by concrete

actions to encourage an inclusive national dialogue as part of a comprehensive

peace process that incorporates the immediate need to protect civilians while also

focusing on long-term governance concerns. It is essential that the United States,

in coordination with regional and international stakeholders, develop a robust,

long-term strategy for Chad that addresses the internal causes of the conflict and

lays the groundwork for good governance, economic accountability and lasting

security.

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The renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Central African

Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) in September presents an opportunity to press

for such a comprehensive approach. In April and June 2008, the UN Secretary-

General reported that lasting peace and security require real dialogue between the

Government of Chad and the armed and un-armed opposition groups. Because

peacekeeping alone is insufficient to facilitate such dialogue, we urge the U.S. to

push for expanding MINURCAT' s mandate to include support for political efforts

toward stabilization and reconciliation. This includes supporting initiatives to

deploy necessary staff and providing adequate resources to establish a political

framework that can end the violence, demobilize militias, and promote voluntary

return and reconstruction for internally displaced persons and refugees.

We also urge the United States to playa more active role in encouraging such a

comprehensive peace process. Sustained diplomatic efforts, in coordination with

regional and international leaders, are needed to help build momentum for

inclusive negotiations. Simultaneously, we encourage the State Department to

press for greater accountability and transparency of industry involving Chad's

naturalresources. Thepursuitof

good governanceand lastingstabilityin Chadis

critical not only for regional stability, but also for our national security.

Sincerely,

~(f)

 

Russell D. Feingold

United States Senator

Christopher j. Dodd

United States Senator

~~~

Patrick J. Leahy

United States Senator

CC: Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Jendayi E. Frazer

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