Annual Report: Chad 2010

Report
May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Chad 2010

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Head of state Idriss Déby Itno
Head of government Youssouf Saleh Abbas
Death penalty retentionist
Population 11.2 million
Life expectancy 48.6 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f)220/201 per 1,000
Adult literacy 31.8 per cent

Human rights abuses and instability continued to mark eastern Chad despite the deployment of a UN peace-keeping mission. Civilians and humanitarian workers were killed and abducted; women and girls were victims of rape and other violence; and children were used as soldiers. The authorities failed to take adequate action to protect civilians from attacks by bandits and armed groups. Suspected political opponents were unlawfully arrested, arbitrarily detained and tortured or otherwise ill-treated. Harassment and intimidation of journalists and human rights defenders continued. Demolition of houses and other structures continued throughout 2009, leaving thousands of people homeless.

Background

Discussions continued about the postponed legislative and presidential elections, scheduled for 2010 and 2011 respectively, and about implementation of the political agreement signed by 17 Chadian parties on 13 August 2007 in N'Djamena. The census for the election was completed on 30 June. New legislation on political parties was passed by the National Assembly on 16 July and the 30 members and the head of the electoral commission were appointed by presidential decree in July despite protests from the opposition. On 25 July, the government signed a peace agreement with the Mouvement National, a coalition of three Chadian armed opposition groups.

Several previous peace agreements signed between Chad and Sudan were not implemented. On 3 May, the two countries signed another agreement in Doha, brokered by the Qatari government. Discussion on the implementation of all the signed peace agreements continued throughout the year.

In addition to the refugees in eastern Chad (see below), at least 56,000 refugees from the Central African Republic were living in camps in the south.

Eastern Chad

The security situation remained volatile and there were widespread abuses, despite the full deployment of 806 personnel of the Détachement Intégré de Sécurité (DIS), a UN-supported Chadian security force responsible for securing towns and sites for internally displaced people (IDPs) in the east, and the presence of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT). On 14 January, the UN Security Council extended MINURCAT's mandate until March 2010 and authorized the deployment of a military component to take over the European Union military operation, EUFOR. A Memorandum of Understanding between MINURCAT and the Chadian government, and a technical arrangement with EUFOR relating to the transfer of EUFOR assets to MINURCAT, were signed in February. As of 15 September, MINURCAT had deployed 2,665 troops, just over half the number pledged.

In January, eight armed opposition groups formed the Union des forces de la résistance (UFR, Union of the Forces of Resistance), a coalition led by Timane Erdimi, a former advisor and nephew of President Idriss Déby Itno. In early May, fighting erupted between the UFR and the army around the village of Am Dam on the border with Sudan. The government said that 225 opposition fighters were killed and 212 taken prisoner, and that 22 soldiers were also killed. The Chadian air force subsequently bombed Sudanese territory and in retaliation Sudanese forces bombed areas around the Chadian town of Bahai in late May. Sudan complained to the UN about the Chadian attacks on its territory.