Chad is a country located in the region of Central Africa. Chad is formally a multi-party democracy, but in reality President Idriss Déby and his party the Patriotic Rescue Movement (MPS) have a firm grip on power since just over a quarter of a century. The state institutions have little or no influence. People from Debby’s zagawa people group from northern Chad dominate the army, government and government.
In order to outmaneuver any rivals, Déby has over the years engaged in countless redevelopments within the government and military leadership. In other ways, the police and security forces imprison and silence the president’s critics. Demonstrations and other protests against the government are often banned. In May 2013, the government reported that it had interfered with a coup attempt.
- Countryaah: Country facts and history of Chad, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
A wide range of problems plague Chad: the widespread poverty, the chronic shortage of food, an unfavorable climate, general lawlessness in certain parts of the country and the increased presence of terrorist groups. Added to this is a corruption that permeates the entire social apparatus and the responsibility for around half a million refugees from neighboring countries (see Population and languages).
Corruption is a major burden in everyday life where you have to bribe yourself to most services. The government has taken steps to stop those who are hurting, but the campaign has not achieved any great success. Some of the government’s actions have been criticized for primarily aimed at removing potential opponents of Déby out of the way.
Déby’s habit of favoring members of his own people group leads to ethnic tensions. The rebellion of rebels in the east (see Modern History) has ebbed out, but new threats are coming from the north and south.
In the northern region of Tibesti lives the toubou people group, which during history has made a series of revolts against the central power, most recently around the turn of the millennium. Locally in Tibesti there are bloody clashes between toubou and zagawa who are there to look for gold. Dozens of people have been killed when toubou attacked zagawa. In 2012, the Mouvement d’Action pour le Changement au Chad (MACT) rebel movement was founded in Tibesti, but so far the dissatisfaction has not led to a real revolt. Relations between Déby and toubou are also affected by the life sentence against former dictator Hissène Habré, who is a toubou and deposed by Déby in 1990. Habré, who moved to Senegal, was sentenced there in 2016 for war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and genocide.
Among the residents of the South, dissatisfaction is booming over their limited access to power and resources. Nor has oil recovery led to any increase in prosperity locally. The proceeds are mainly used to benefit Déby’s interests in the capital and for the purchase of weapons. On the contrary, oil production has led to new problems such as environmental degradation and price increases. In some cases, oil production poses a threat to traditional culture.
A growing problem is the Nigerian Islamist movement Boko Haram, which has declared war on Chad and started raiding the country in the area on Lake Chad in the west. Hundreds of people have been killed in suicide attacks and other acts of violence by Islamists. The attacks have primarily taken place on Lake Chad, but the capital has also been affected by the attacks.
Increased criticism of Déby
The falling oil prices in recent years as well as rising costs for the war against Boko Haram and for refugees from neighboring countries in chaos have stopped the few projects that have been launched to improve living standards and infrastructure. Higher living costs and absentee wages have caused popular protests.
The criticism of Déby and the government increased before the presidential election in April 2016. The government responded by imprisoning activists and banning meetings and demonstrations.
Thirteen politicians stood against Déby. The main challenger was Saleh Kebzabo, leader of the opposition party National Union for Development and Renewal (UNDR). When the country’s election commission announced that Déby won by 60 percent of the vote against 12 percent for Kebzabo, the opposition refused to accept the result.
According to the constitution, parliamentary elections would have been held in 2015, but it has been postponed on several occasions with various motivations, including lack of money. In the spring of 2018, President Déby convened a national forum where over 700 politicians and representatives of various social groups made proposals for constitutional changes (see Political system). The forum was boycotted by the opposition, which also rejected the amendments, which strengthen the president’s power. The opposition also did not participate when Parliament voted in April to approve the constitutional proposals. A few days later, the entire government was replaced.
Ethnic battles over land and water
In August 2019, President Déby warned that ethnic strife in the provinces of Ouaddai and Zila along the border with Sudan in the east had deteriorated rapidly in recent months. This had happened as more and more small arms entered the area from the conflicts in Libya, Sudan and the Central African Republic. Dozens of people had been killed as farmers and nomadic camel breeders from Debby’s zaghawa people group competed for ever-scarce land and water resources. Déby emphasized that the ethnic struggles were now considered a national problem. Déby has suggested that military courts be set up to investigate suspects in the ethnic conflicts, but the opposition opposes it.
The government introduced a state of emergency in Quaddai and Sila from August 2019 to January 2020. The reason was that the military could more easily disarm the violence workers. At the end of January, the Minister of Defense announced that the level of violence in these regions had decreased significantly and the state of emergency was lifted.
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FACTS – POLITICS
Republic of Chad
republic, unitary state
Head of State
President Idriss Déby Itno (1990–)
Head of government
President Idriss Déby Itno (Head of Government of 2018) 1
Most important parties with mandates in the last election
Chad Rebirth Alliance ART (which includes President Debby’s Patriotic Rescue Party, MPS) 132, National Union for Development and Renewal (UNDR) 11, URD-PLD 8, RNDT-Le Réveil 8, FAR-PF 4, Others 25 (2011)
Main parties with mandates in the second most recent elections
Patriotic Rescue Movement (MPS) 110, Democracy and Progress Collection (RDP) 12, Front of the Republic (FAR) 9, National Democracy and Progress Collection (RNDP) 5, National Union for Development and Renewal (UNDR) 5, Union for Renewal and Democracy (URD) 3 (2002)
56% in the 2011 parliamentary elections, 66% in the 2016 presidential election
2021 presidential election, unclear when parliamentary elections will be held
- The president became head of government in May 2018 after the removal of the Prime Minister’s OfficeSources