Des combattants jihadistes ont tué une centaine de soldats tchadiens au Lac Tchad dans l’attaque la plus meurtrière de l’histoire récente du Tchad. Alors que l’armée a lancé une contre-offensive, il est vital d’améliorer la coopération militaire dans la région et de protéger les civils.
Military conducted large-scale operation against Boko Haram (BH) factions in Lake Chad province in west and broader Lake Chad Basin; over forty BH militants reportedly captured during operation died of suspected poisoning while in detention in capital N’Djamena, triggering outcry from civil society groups. Following BH attack that killed around 100 soldiers late March on Bohoma peninsula, Lake Chad province in west, govt 9 April said eight-day counter-insurgency operation killed over 1,000 militants; 52 soldiers also died in operation. In capital N’Djamena prison, 44 suspected BH members reportedly captured during operation were found dead 16 April; chief prosecutor 18 April announced investigation and said men appeared to have died of poisoning; civil society denounced mistreatment of prisoners, saying they were deprived of food and water for days; govt denied allegation. Meanwhile BH attacks persisted in Lake Chad province. BH faction Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) 18 April reportedly killed two soldiers and captured one other during attack in Litri area; ISWAP 25 April published video reportedly showing execution of captured soldier. President Déby 9 April announced end of Chadian participation in military operations abroad; however foreign ministry 12 April said Chadian forces would continue assisting UN peacekeeping mission in Mali and regional taskforces targeting jihadist groups. In south west, herder-farmer clashes left at least one dead 18 April in Mayo-Kebbi East province; dispute over ownership of mosque left one dead 28 April in Hadjer-Lamis Centre province. Senegalese authorities 6 April granted former Chadian President Habré 60-day home detention due to risk of COVID-19 spread in prisons; Habré detained in Dakar since Extraordinary African Chambers sentenced him to life imprisonment in 2016 for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Déby 15 April pledged $1.5bn to aid people and businesses amid COVID-19 crisis. National Assembly 28 April voted to abolish death penalty, which was still authorised for terrorist crimes.
Des violences intercommunautaires opposant principalement des communautés arabes et non arabes ont ravagé l’Est du Tchad en 2019, et pourraient menacer la stabilité du pays. Le gouvernement devrait ouvrir un large débat sur la gestion des mobilités pastorales et soutenir l’organisation d’une conférence inclusive à l’Est.
Les tensions croissantes entre le gouvernement, les chercheurs d’or et la population teda du Tibesti font craindre une escalade sécuritaire au Nord du Tchad, dans un contexte régional fragile. Les autorités devraient desserrer l’étau autour de la localité de Miski, éviter les discours réducteurs et rechercher le dialogue.
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.
Chad is an essential component of Western countries’ strategy in the Sahel and in the fight against terrorism.
[Chadian president Déby] has a pretty fractious inner circle, and he knows that any local conflict could quickly escalate into a national one.
[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 West sees Chad as a reliable ally in the fight against extremists in the African Sahel. But it needs to take more care. Chad is breaking prior agreements by spending much of its oil revenue on the military, while social services and good governance have suffered.