From 1 to 11 March, OCHA’s Emergency Services Branch conducted a Technical Support Mission in N’djamena and Baga Sola, Chad. As requested by the OCHA country office, the mission included an assessment of the humanitarian civil-military operating environment in both locations, the findings of which formed part of the discussion points and operational analysis during the actual workshops.
In N’Djamena, the workshop for humanitarian actors was attended by NGO, INGO and UN Agency representatives, while the workshop for military actors brought together officers from the Chadian National Army (CNA) y and France’s Operation Barkhane, as well as the UK and US Liaison Officers to the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF). In Baga Sola, Lake Chad region, the workshop brought together 30 participants representing local authorities, UN agencies, INGOs and NGOs, MNJTF and CNA. The main civil-military coordination issue identified was the use of and payment for armed escorts by humanitarian actors. More analysis of both security and operational factors, which serve as a basis for making armed escorts mandatory for UN actors, was required. The seeming lack of understanding of the implications of the use of armed escorts highlighted the need to think through alternatives to their use. Therefore, the HCT agreed to establish Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination structures in the country, as well as to develop a common position on the use of armed escorts.