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Country profile for Chad

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

Red (High Risk)
Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Unselected
Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

Unselected
Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: N'Djamena
  • Major Languages: French, Arabic
  • Currency: Central African CFA Franc
  • Timezone: GMT +1:00

Country Map

Map of Chad

The security situation in Chad remains fragile following decades of political unrest. General Idriss Deby has been the president of Chad since 1990 when he led a violent rebellion against incumbent Hissene Habre. Since then there have been a number of attempted coups against the government, most notably during the Chadian Civil War (2005-10). Hundreds of civilians were killed in fighting as various rebel groups, supported by neighbouring Sudan, launched an offensive on the capital, N’Djamena in 2008. The rebel groups were defeated and in January, 2010 President Deby and President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan signed a peace deal which stipulated that Sudan would end its support of the Chadian rebels. In 2013 the leader of the Union of Forces of Resistance (UFR) coalition threatened to resume fighting against the government, claiming that rebels were tired of waiting for talks.

Chad is located in a region of conflict and unrest, with many neighbouring states experiencing serious security problems. The government has contributed thousands of troops to a regional force tasked with defeating the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, who retaliated by carrying out two large suicide bomb attacks in N’Djamena in June and July, 2015, which killed more than 40 people.  The government has banned the full-face veil and extra security has been deployed across N'Djamena in an attempt to prevent further suicide attacks in the city.  There have also been dozens cross-border attacks by Boko Haram militants around Lake Chad in the west of the country, while thousands of civilians have fled from Nigeria across the border.

An estimated 300,000 Sudanese refugees from the restive Darfur region are currently living in camps in eastern Chad; although the Joint Border Force between Chad and Sudan has improved security in the region, incidents of banditry and violent crime still occur. The ongoing conflict in Libya has spilled over into northern Chad and unexploded devices are particularly prevalent close to the border, notably beyond the town of Faya Largeau. In May, 2014 Chad closed the southern border with the Central African Republic (CAR) due to the conflict in the country between Christian militias and Muslim (Seleka) rebels. All non-essential travel to the borders with Libya, Nigeria, Niger, CAR and Sudan should be avoided wherever possible.

There is a moderate threat of kidnapping in Chad, and a number of foreign nationals have been abducted in recent years. In June, 2010 a European aid worker with Oxfam was kidnapped in Abeche in eastern Chad. There is also an elevated threat of kidnapping along the eastern border with the Darfur region of Sudan. In March, 2012 the US Department of State issued a travel warning for all border regions of Chad, citing an elevated risk of carjacking and kidnapping in these areas. Crimes such as armed robbery are relatively common in the capital, N’Djamena, and travel in the city at night should be limited.

Alerts for Chad

French national kidnapped in Chad

A French national has been kidnapped by unknown assailants in eastern Chad.  The unidentified victim, who worked for a French company, was taken south of the town Abeche.  "Everything is being done to get him freed," a military source told journalists.

MSF warns over potential hepatitis outbreak in south-eastern Chad

The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Thursday that hundreds of people in south-eastern Chad are at risk due to the recent Hepatitis E outbreak. According to the MSF, over 885 people have been treated for suspected symptoms in the region of Salamat. The liver disease that spread mainly through water contaminated with faeces already led to 11 deaths since September 2016; however, the World Health Organisation (WHO) believes the number to be higher.

Sahel states agree to counter-terror force

Five countries in the Sahel have agreed to set up a joint counter-terror force to target jihadist groups.  Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger made the agreement in Mali's capital, Bamako, on Monday.  Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou said a UN resolution and Security Council approval would be requested before the force could be formed.  The meeting came a month after the al-Mourabitoun jihadist group carried out an attack in Gao in northern Mali that killed around 80 people.

Chad closes Libyan border over security concerns

Chad has closed its border with Libya over concerns about the ongoing security situation in its neighbour.  Additional troops have also been deployed to the border to prevent militant fighters from entering Chad.  "Some isolated ... groups have converged toward the south of Libya, that is to say on the northern border of our country, which is potentially exposed to a serious threat of ... infiltration," Chad's Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke said in a statement.

Man arrested for shooting at police in N'Djamena

A man has been arrested for shooting at police outside the US embassy in Chad's capital, N'Djamena. “The man who arrived on a motorcycle had in his possession a Turkish pistol with a ball ammunition and fired at point-blank range on the police officers who were guarding the US embassy in Chad,” a police source told the AFP.  No injuries were reported in the incident.

Boko Haram fighters surrender in Chad

Hundreds of Boko Haram fighters have surrendered in Chad, according to the UN and local security forces.  "They surrendered to our troops on the front line in Lake Chad," said Colonel Mohammad Dole, Chief Military Public Information Officer for the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) headquartered in Chad's capital N'Djamena.  "The surrenders are taking place because of the firepower of our operations." Around 240 fighters and their families are now in detention.

Four soldiers killed in mine exposion near Niger border

Four Chadian soldiers have been killed after their vehicle was destroyed by a mine, suspected to have been planted by Boko Haram militants. The mine strike occurred at Kaiga Kindji in the Lake Chad region, near the border between Chad and Niger. At least a dozen other soldiers were wounded in the incident. 

President Idriss Deby sworn in for a fifth term

Chad's President Idriss Deby was sworn in on Monday for a fifth term in office. President Deby won April's elections with 61.6 percent of the votes, against 12.8 percent for his main opposition, Saleh Kebzaho. Deby was sworn in amid a wave of protests led by the opposition over the weekend.

Seven men jailed for rape of schoolgirl in Chad

Seven men has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the rape and kidnapping of a schoolgirl in Chad's capital, N'Djamena.  The assailants, all sons of Chadian officials, carried out the attack on the 16-year-old girl in February.  Video footage emerged of the attack, sparking a wave of protests in the country.  President Idriss Deby, now serving his fifth term, denounced the "unspeakable act", promising that "justice will be done and that it will never be repeated".

Former military ruler Hissene Habre jailed for war crimes

Chad's former military ruler Hissene Habre has been sentenced to life in prison after a special court in Senegal convicted him of crimes against humanity, torture and sexual slavery. "Hissene Habre, this court finds you guilty of crimes against humanity, rape, forced slavery, and kidnapping," as well as war crimes, said Gberdao Gustave Kam, Burkinabe president of the Extraordinary African Chambers (CAE) court.  Habre ruled Chad between 1982 and 1990, and the ruling is the first time an African Union-backed court has tried a former ruler for human rights abuses.

President Idriss Deby wins fifth term

Chad's President Idriss Deby has won a fifth term in office, the national election commission announced late on Thursday.  Mr Deby received almost 62 percent of the vote, well ahead of his nearest rival, Saleh Kabzabo, who won 13 percent.  During the elections there was a government shutdown of the internet and some mobile phone services were suspended, while the opposition withdrew from the electoral commission after expressing doubts that the vote would be credible.

Idriss Deby seeking fifth term re-election

Chad's president, Idriss Deby, is seeking to win his fifth term after 26 years in power in the country's upcoming elections. Deby, who is viewed by the international community as a key ally in the fight against Islamist militants, has been facing increasing pressure from opponents. He is accused of favouring people from his ethnic group, the Zaghawa, and placing allies in the top positions of the military, while in recent weeks there have been several anti-government protests which have been met with violence from police.


Three killed in suicide attack near Lake Chad

At least three people have been killed and 56 others wounded in a twin suicide bomb attack near Lake Chad.  The first blast was reported in Guie, where an assailant on a motorbike blew himself up, while a second attacker targeted the village of Miterine.  The Nigerian militant group Boko Haram are suspected of carrying out the attacks.

Triple suicide blast kills 27 on Lake Chad

At least 27 people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded in a triple suicide bomb attack on Lake Chad. The blasts, which Chadian security forces say were caused by female suicide bombers, hit a market on the island of Koulfoua on Saturday.  No group claimed responsibility for the attacks, however the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram are suspected of being behind it.

State of emergency declared in Lake Chad region

Chad's government has declared a state of emergency in the Lake Chad region following a series of attacks by Boko Haram militants.  The move gives the region's governor additional powers to search houses and limit the movement of people and vehicles in the area.  Last months at least 36 people were killed in suicide bomb attacks in the town of Baga Sola on the northern shore of Lake Chad.

Boko Haram militants carry out deadly cross border raids

Four Chadian soldiers and 19 suspected Boko Haram militants have been killed in clashes in the Lake Chad region.  Fighters targeted two remote military posts in Kaiga Kinguirya and Bamou early on Sunday morning, said the army's general staff in a statement.  Chad is currently taking part in a multi-regional force tasked with countering the Nigeria-based militant group.

Suicide bomb attacks kill 36 in Baga Sola

At least 36 people have been killed and 50 others wounded after five suicide bombers targeted a fish market and refugee camp in the town of Baga Sola.  The female assailants carried out the attacks on the shores of Lake Chad on Saturday, targeting shoppers and people who had fled the Boko Haram insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria.  Chadian officials suspect that Boko Haram, who have been responsible for a series of similar attacks in recent months, were behind the latest bombing.

Chad issues veil warning after deadly suicide bomb attack

Chadian police have warned that anyone found wearing a full-face veil will be arrested following a suicide bombing in N'Djamena on Saturday which killed 14 people and wounded 80 others.  Saturday's attack was carried out by a man disguised as a woman in the full-face Muslim veil. "This attack just confirms that a ban on the full-face veil was justified," national police spokesman Paul Manga said. "Anyone who does not obey the law will be automatically arrested and brought to justice."

Boko Haram militants kill 26 in Chad attacks

At least 26 civilians have been killed by suspected Boko Haram militants in two villages on Lake Chad. "The two villages were attacked by surprise on Saturday and Sunday night. There were 13 dead in each attack," a Chadian official, who declined to be named, said on Wednesday.

Chad bans full face veil after suicide bomb attacks

Chad has banned the full-face Muslim veil following suicide bomb attacks in N'Djamena on Monday. "Wearing the burqa must stop immediately from today, not only in public places and schools but throughout the whole of the country," Prime Minister Kalzeube Pahimi Deubet said in a speech. He said the veil is a form of "camouflage" used by militants and security forces have been ordered to seize all burqas and burn them.

Deadly suicide bombings hit police HQ in capital

At least 27 people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded in a twin suicide bomb attack in Chad's capital, N'Djamena.  The attacks targeted the police headquarters and police academy in the city, which the authorities quickly blamed on the Boko Haram militant group in neighbouring Nigeria.  "Boko Haram is making a mistake by targeting Chad," Communications Minister Hassan Sylla Bakari said on state television. "These lawless terrorists will be chased out and neutralized wherever they are."

Three killed in deadly Chad protests

At least three people have been killed in protests against new regulations which require motorbike riders to wear helmets in Chad.  The authorities have closed schools and universities in the country following three days of student-led demonstrations.  The protests claim the helmets are too expensive, with prices tripling since the regulations were introduced earlier this month.

Boko Haram militants attack village in Chad

Boko Haram militants have carried out an attack in a village in Chad, the first reported assault in the country.  Around 30 gunmen crossed Lake Chad in motorboats and opened fire on civilians in Ngouboua, killing five people including the village chief.  The militants were eventually repelled by Chadian troops.

Chad deploys troops to help Cameroon fight Boko Haram

Chad are sending a large contingent of troops to neighbouring Cameroon to help it fight increasing incursions from Boko Haram militants based in Nigeria.  Cameroon's president, Paul Biya, made the announcement a couple of days after the country's security forces said it had killed 143 Boko Haram fighters near one of its bases in Kolofata.

Chad closes border with CAR

Chad has closed its border with Central African Republic (CAR) due to the ongoing fighting in the country.  President Idriss Deby said "from today our border with this country is tightly sealed", adding that the 1,000km stretch would remain open to Chadian citizens wishing to return home.

Security forces foil attempted coup

Security forces in Chad claim to have foiled an attempted coup, according to a government spokesman.  A number of people have been arrested in relation to the alleged plot, including opposition lawmaker Saleh Makki.

Chad announces troop withdrawal

Chad's President Idriss Deby has announced that his countries troops will withdraw from the ongoing military operations in Mali.  Mr Deby, who made the announcement shortly after three Chadian soldiers died in a suicide attack in Mali, said the troops were not equipped to fight a "shadowy, guerrilla-style war".

Thousands flee to Chad after tribal clashes in Darfur

Around 50,000 people have fled across the border into Chad following renewed tribal conflict in the restive Darfur region of Sudan.  A UNHCR spokesman said the refugees have reported that their houses and villages were destroyed in the fighting.

Chad Data Sheet

Population:
10.3 million
Major Religion/s:
Islam, Christianity
International dialing code:
+235
International dialing prefix:
15
Emergency services:
Police 17, Fire 18
Drives:
Right
Voltage:
220V
Climate:
Tropical
Ohter Major Cities:
Moundou
Borders:
Libya, Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger