Une incursion de l’Union des forces de la résistance (UFR) en territoire tchadien depuis la Libye, début février, a été arrêtée par des frappes aériennes françaises, en coordination avec l’armée tchadienne. Cette menace sécuritaire inédite depuis plusieurs années met en relief les fragilités du Tchad et du pouvoir en place.
Govt requested French airstrikes to halt rebel advance in north east and Boko Haram continued attacks in Lake Chad region in west. At Chadian govt’s request, French air force 3-6 Feb carried out strikes on Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) rebels in north east halting advance of some 50 pick-ups from southern Libya toward capital N’Djamena; group led by Timan Erdimi, President Déby’s nephew and former chief of staff living in Qatar. Military 9 Feb said it had arrested over 250 rebels. Opposition and civil society criticised France’s intervention as proof of its unconditional support for Déby. Déby 15 Feb dismissed army battalion commander reportedly for refusing to take part in offensive against Tebu self-defence group in Miski, Tibesti region in north west. Déby 18 Feb replaced several high-ranking military personnel. Security forces 19 Feb arrested five foreign Boko Haram members in N’Djamena. In Lake Chad region in west, Boko Haram attacked three villages night of 19-20 Feb killing five people and kidnapping thirteen, and next night abducted seven people and stole some 200 cattle from Bohoma village. Some 500 Chadian troops, part of regional Multinational Joint Task Force, 22 Feb crossed into Cameroon to support Nigerian and Cameroonian troops in fight against Boko Haram in northern Nigeria.
Les relations entre une frange de la jeunesse sahélienne et le gouvernement tchadien se détériorent, ce qui risque de nourrir les insurrections tchadiennes hors des frontières. Pour y remédier, les autorités devraient lutter contre l’impunité, y compris s’agissant des proches du pouvoir, et éviter les amalgames entre émigration et rébellion.
Créée en février 2017, la Force conjointe du G5 Sahel est une force de nouvelle génération dans un espace sahélien où se bousculent des initiatives militaires et diplomatiques parfois concurrentes. Il ne suffira pas de fournir des armes et de l’argent pour résoudre les crises sahéliennes. Pour atteindre ses objectifs, la force doit gagner la confiance des populations et des puissances régionales et obtenir leur soutien.
Since 2015, the conflict between Chad’s armed forces and Boko Haram has destabilised the Lake Chad region in the west of the country. Defeating this resilient insurgency requires the state to go beyond a purely military campaign and relaunch trade, improve public services and reintegrate demobilised militants.
Regional armies in the Lake Chad basin deploy vigilantes to sharpen campaigns against Boko Haram insurgents. But using these militias creates risks as combatants turn to communal violence and organised crime. Over the long term they must be disbanded or regulated.
Ahead of Chad’s presidential election on 10 April popular discontent is rising amid a major economic crisis, growing intra-religious tensions and deadly Boko Haram attacks. The regime that portrays itself as spearheading the fight against regional jihadism could see all sorts of violent actors gain influence at home if it pursues exclusionary politics and denies its people a viable social contract.
The Sahel’s trajectory is worrying; poverty and population growth, combined with growing jihadi extremism, contraband and human trafficking constitute the perfect storm of actual and potential instability. Without holistic, sustained efforts against entrenched criminal networks, misrule and underdevelopment, radicalisation and migration are likely to spread and exacerbate.
[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. travel ban] is completely baffling.
Rural insurgencies across the Sahel are destabilising the region and undermining local security and governance. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2018, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to continue support for the Alliance for the Sahel and promote local dialogue to buttress law and order.
The Boko Haram insurgency is weakening in the Lake Chad basin, but its underlying socio-economic drivers remain to be addressed. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2017, we urge the EU and its member states to support regional governments with winding down vigilante groups, funding youth employment projects, rebuilding agriculture and trade, and restoring public services.
Jihadist groups have regrouped in the neglected hinterlands of Sahel countries and are launching attacks from them. To regain control of outlying districts, regional states must do far more to extend services and representation beyond recently recaptured provincial centres.