Annual Report: Chad 2011

Report
May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Chad 2011

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Head of state: Idriss Déby Itno
Head of government: Emmanuel Djelassem Nadingar (replaced Youssouf Saleh Abbas in March)
Death penalty: retentionist
Population: 11.5 million
Life expectancy: 49.2 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f): 220/201 per 1,000
Adult literacy: 32.7 per cent

The political situation remained tense, especially in eastern Chad, despite normalization of relations with Sudan and peace agreements with leaders of some armed groups. Inter-ethnic clashes erupted and human rights violations were committed with almost total impunity. Civilians and humanitarian workers were killed and abducted; women and girls were victims of rape and other violence; and children were recruited as soldiers or abducted for ransom. Journalists and human rights defenders faced harassment and intimidation. Forcible evictions continued. The UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) was withdrawn on 31 December.

Background

In January, the government asked the UN Security Council to withdraw MINURCAT. At the time, agreed benchmarks to measure MINURCAT's success had not yet been achieved. On 25 May, under pressure from Chad, the UN Security Council resolved to end MINURCAT by 31 December 2010. The Chadian government indicated it would assume full responsibility for protecting civilians on its territory. In October, Chad presented a protection plan - centred around the Détachement Intégré de Sécurité (DIS) security force - and requested financial assistance.

On 15 January Chad and Sudan signed an agreement to deny armed groups the use of their respective territories and to normalize relations. The Chad-Sudan border that had been closed since 2003 reopened in April. In March, Chad and Sudan deployed a joint border monitoring force to counter criminal activity and armed groups. In May, Khalil Ibrahim, leader of the Sudanese armed group, the Justice and Equality Movement, was denied access to Chad, although his forces had been based in Chad for years. In July, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir visited Chad for a meeting, despite facing an International Criminal Court arrest warrant. President Al-Bashir also asked Chadian armed group leaders Timane Erdimi, Mahamat Nouri and Adouma Hassaballah to leave Sudan.

The electoral census started in May. In October, President Déby announced that legislative and local elections planned for November were postponed and would take place in 2011 together with the presidential elections.

Most of the recommendations of a commission of inquiry into events in the capital, N'Djamena in February 2008 had not been implemented by the end of 2010. During the fighting, serious human rights violations had been committed including the disappearance of opposition leader Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh.

At least 150,000 people in many parts of the country were forced to leave their homes because of heavy rains and floods. Around 68,000 refugees from the Central African Republic continued to live in camps in southern Chad.

Chadian authorities organized a national human rights conference in March with support from MINURCAT, but most local human rights organizations refused to participate. In June, the government organized a regional conference on ending the use and the recruitment of child soldiers.

Eastern Chad

The security situation remained volatile in the east. More than 262,000 Sudanese refugees from Darfur were living in 12 refugee camps and around 180,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in 38 IDP sites. In May, at least 5,000 new refugees arrived following fighting in Darfur. According to the UN, 48,000 IDPs returned to their home villages, mainly in the Ouaddai and the Dar Sila region. Most were reluctant to return because of the insecurity in their villages, the proliferation of small arms and the lack of basic services such as water, health and education.