CrisisWatch Chad

Unchanged Situation

Hundreds of rebels faced trial over President Idriss Déby’s death, and interim govt launched security-oriented diplomatic push.

Trial of rebels accused of killing Chad’s long-time strongman kicked off. First audience in closed trial of 454 Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) rebels, captured in April 2021 during clashes that led to death of then-President Idriss Déby, held 13 Feb in capital N’Djamena; trial adjourned 15 Feb after security guard reportedly accidentally detonated teargas grenade. FACT leader Mahamat Mahdi Ali mid-Feb questioned trial, citing Transitional President Mahamat Idriss Déby’s pledge in Oct 2022 to free all prisoners of war.

Security challenges persisted. Security forces from late Jan to mid-Feb conducted series of weapons search operations in Ouaddaï region (east) and capital N’Djamena, allegedly amid concerns over intercommunal tensions. Search at house of influential senior army official, Gen. Tahir Erda, 14 Feb sparked outrage among ruling Zaghawa clan. Chadian governors in their annual conference held 3-4 Feb confirmed creation in Jan of new rebel group in Logone Oriental region (south west). Communications Minister Aziz Mahamat-Saleh late Feb however denied existence of any rebellion on Chadian territory.

Transitional authorities sought security cooperation with partners. Déby 2 Feb inaugurated Chad’s first embassy in Israel amid reported plans to acquire Israeli military equipment to defend Chadian borders. Déby 6 Feb met with French President Macron in Paris to discuss bilateral cooperation; 9 Feb met with Central African counterpart, President Touadéra, in Angolan capital Luanda, to discuss security issues, notably increasing activity of armed groups on CAR side of shared border (see CAR). G5 Sahel (Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania) 20 Feb held summit in N’Djamena, first since Mali pulled out in June last year, reaffirmed joint commitment to fighting terrorism in Sahel.

In other important developments. U.S. daily The Wall Street Journal 23 Feb reported U.S. warned Chadian authorities that Russian Wagner Group was working with Chadian rebels to destabilise country and oust President Déby.

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In The News

9 Apr 2020
Chad is an essential component of Western countries’ strategy in the Sahel and in the fight against terrorism. Wall Street Journal

Thibaud Lesueur

Former Senior Analyst, Chad
1 Apr 2020
[Chadian president Déby] has a pretty fractious inner circle, and he knows that any local conflict could quickly escalate into a national one. Foreign Policy

Richard Moncrieff

Project Director, Great Lakes (Interim)
25 Sep 2017
[There are no] significant indications of other violent extremist activity [in Chad aside from Boko Haram], so in that respect, [the decision to include Chad in the U.S. ... The Washington Post

Richard Moncrieff

Project Director, Great Lakes (Interim)

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