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 The UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) was withdrawn on 31 December.
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.Top of page
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Members of the Chadian security forces, Sudanese and Chadian armed groups were responsible for unlawful killings committed with impunity in the context of ongoing insecurity.
The authorities continued to arrest and arbitrarily detain people without charge. People were detained in secret detention facilities where visits were not allowed, such as the Korotoro detention centre.Top of page
Journalists continued to face intimidation and harassment by government officials.
Decree No. 5, which restricted freedom of expression and had been issued during the state of emergency in February-March 2008, was lifted. The government passed a new media law in August. The new law introduces prison sentences of one to two years, fines and a ban on publication for up to three months for “inciting racial, ethnic or religious hatred and condoning violence”.
Hundreds of people were forcibly evicted and their houses destroyed in various areas of N’Djamena. Evictions were conducted without due process, adequate notice or consultation. Most of the families who had lost their homes since the beginning of this eviction campaign in February 2008 had not received alternative housing or any other form of compensation. Some won court cases against the government, but in most cases the court decisions were not respected.
Dozens of children, some as young as 10, were abducted for ransom. Some were released when their families paid large sums. The fate of others remained unknown at the end of the year.
On 27 July, an N’Djamena criminal court sentenced Guidaoussou Tordinan to death for shooting dead his wife and injuring his mother-in-law in November 2009. No further information was available on the application of the death penalty or the number of people on death row.Top of page