Annual Report: Chad 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Chad 2011

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Human rights abuses continued, including rape of girls and women, recruitment of children, kidnapping of humanitarian personnel and killings of civilians. Fighting between the national army, the Armée Nationale Tchadienne (ANT), and armed groups also continued. In April, fighting erupted between the ANT and the opposition Front populaire pour la renaissance nationale (FPRN) around Tissi and For Djahaname on the Darfur border.

Tensions between Chadian ethnic groups were high.

  • In March, a man was killed following fighting between members of the Arab and Dadjo communities in Goz Beida. One person was arrested in connection with this incident.
  • Increasing ethnic violence between President Déby's ethnic group, the Zaghawa, and the Tama was a major concern. On 21 October, Colonel Dongui, a member of the Zaghawa ethnic group and head of military intelligence in the Dar Tama region, shot dead Colonel Ismael Mahamat Sossal, a Tama and Commandant of the military region. In response, Colonel Sossal's bodyguards killed Colonel Dongui. Other people were injured in this incident. Several people were subsequently arrested, including two Tama army officers.

There were fears that the full withdrawal of MINURCAT would lead to a further deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation. Chadian authorities delayed the implementation of plans presented to the UN Security Council in October.

Abuses by armed groups and bandits

Serious incidents of banditry and armed attacks against humanitarian workers occurred in eastern Chad, especially between May and July. Numerous abductions of humanitarian personnel, carjackings and robberies were reported.

  • An ICRC staff member, agronomist Laurent Maurice, was released in February after being abducted and held for 89 days by armed men.
  • On 6 June, three Oxfam personnel were abducted in Abeché. Two were released later that day, but the third was held until 15 June. According to the authorities, he was freed by the joint Chadian/Sudanese military force at Sarne, in eastern Chad. The authorities stated that those responsible had been arrested but no trial had started by the end of 2010.
  • On 10 July, a vehicle belonging to the French Red Cross was stolen by six armed men near the village of Boulala. The driver and his colleague were held and later released near Moussoro.

Violence against women and girls

Rape and other forms of violence against women and girls continued to be perpetrated by members of their communities, armed groups and the security forces. In most of the cases documented, the victims were children and the suspects enjoyed impunity.

  • Two refugee girls aged 13 were raped on 16 July by a group of men near Farchana refugee camp. The girls had gone to search for firewood. The Chadian gendarmerie and the DIS reportedly opened an investigation into the case.
  • On 6 September a 14-year-old refugee girl from Am Nabak camp was raped at the village of Shandi by a local cattle herder, who paid the village chief compensation in Sudanese money before leaving the area. Clashes erupted over the camels he left behind, in which one person was killed.
  • The UN reported that army soldiers allegedly committed at least 11 cases of violence against women between February and April. Although senior officers reportedly said that they would take appropriate action, it was unclear at the end of the year whether any action had been taken against the suspects.

Child soldiers

The recruitment and use of children by armed forces and groups continued and recruiters enjoyed total impunity. The UN stated in 2007 that between 7,000 and 10,000 children might have been used as fighters or associated with Chadian and Sudanese armed groups and the Chadian army. Less than 10 per cent had officially been released from these armed forces and groups by the end of 2010.

Children from villages in eastern Chad, refugee camps and IDP sites continued to be used by the Chadian security forces, and some senior ANT officers were involved in recruiting children during the year.