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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.

Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

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 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.

In April 2016 Deby was re-elected for a fifth term in office. His re-election came amid a wave of demonstrations led by protesters demanding increased civil rights and political reforms. The widespread protests involved several opposition figures and local business owners, who launched a shutdown protest. The demonstration also blended together with protests led by outraged students over the alleged rape of a schoolgirl. The unrest led to a violent escalation when soldiers on the attempt to disperse the crowd shot dead a youngster and injured five others.

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 the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), tasked with defeating the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram. The group carried out two large suicide bomb attacks in N’Djamena in June and July 2015, which killed more than 40 people.  The government banned the full-face veil and extra security was 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 spilt 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 high threat of kidnapping in Chad. In March 2017 a French national working for a mining company was abducted near Goz Beida, close to the border with Sudan’s Darfur region. Several aid workers and other foreign nationals have also been targeted in Chad in recent years. Crimes such as armed robbery are relatively common in the capital, N’Djamena, and travel in the city at night should be limited, particularly in eastern suburbs where the crime rate is higher.

Alerts for Chad

US extends controversial travel ban

US President Donald Trump has extended the controversial travel ban to include three more countries: Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela. The three countries will join the five Muslim-majority countries already included in the travel ban: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. The ban will suspend business and tourist visas for Chadian nationals, restrict travel to North Korea for all US citizens, and ban Venezuelan government officials and their families from travelling to the US. The White House has released a series of statements explaining the reasoning for the new additions - stating that Chad was included in the list because it did not share terrorism-related public information required by the US, despite being an important counter-terrorism partner. The travel ban - previously dubbed the 'Muslim ban' - was initially critically received for appearing to discriminate against Muslim-majority countries; however, the inclusion of the three none-Muslim countries now means the ban does not only apply to Muslim-majority countries. According to the BBC, the American Civil Liberties Union rights groups have stated that the additions do no disguise "the real fact that the administration's order is still a Muslim ban".

Eight Chadian soldiers killed by Boko Haram

Eight Chadian soldiers have been killed in an attack by Boko Haram militants on Lake Chad.  Colonel Azem said troops clashed with insurgents on five islands on the Nigerian side of the shared border over the weekend.  The army said more than 100 Boko Haram fighters were killed in the operations and six vehicles destroyed.

Peacekeepers protest over salary demands

Around 1,000 Chadian peacekeepers have held protests to demand salary payments.  The troops, who have recently returned from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), claim they have not been paid their full salaries since 2015.  Chad first deployed around 2,000 troops to Mali in January 2015 and currently supports the 14,000-strong MINUSMA mission.

Boko Haram fighters kill nine soldiers in Lake Chad military base

At least nine soldiers have been killed and scores injured in a terrorist attack targeting military positions in the Lake Chad region on Friday. The target was an army base in the Kaiga-Kindiria area which was raided by presumed Boko Haram fighters. The attack came just hours after seven people were killed in another attack in Konduga, Nigeria.

Ten killed in prisoner ambush

Ten people have been killed in an ambush on a convoy transporting detainees in Chad.  Chief Prosecutor Bruno Louapambe Mahouli said the incident happened as the prisoners were being transported from N'Djamena to Koro Toro.  "In addition to the investigations, a judicial inquiry was opened by the N'Djamena prosecutor's office to identify the perpetrators of this reprehensible act with a view to their arrest to be held accountable for their actions," said Mahouli.

Three killed by customs officer in Farcha

Three people have been shot dead and three others wounded by a customs officer in the Farcha district of N'Djamena.  The incident happened during an altercation with a suspected smuggler on Tuesday.  The officer has reportedly been arrested by the CA1 police as several of the victims were civilians.

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

10.3 million
Major Religion/s:
Islam, Christianity
International dialing code:
International dialing prefix:
Emergency services:
Police 17, Fire 18
Ohter Major Cities:
Libya, Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger