Chad Recent History

Chad Recent History

On December 4, 1990, former Chadian officer I. Déby, operating from Sudan, overthrew the dictatorial ruling President Habré, during whose term of office an estimated 40,000 people were executed or died in custody. Habré went into exile in Senegal.

Déby, officially sworn in as President of the Republic on March 4, 1991 (re-elected in 2001 under questionable circumstances), initiated a gradual process of democratization in early 1993 with the formation of a transitional parliament (including the admission of opposition parties). However, this was made more difficult by economic problems, ethno-religious unrest and a lack of government involvement, although some “politico-military movements” gave up armed struggle and registered as parties. In March 1999 armed clashes began in the Tibesti region in the north of the country between government troops and rebels of the MDJT (Mouvement pour la Démocratie et la Justice au Tchad, founded in 1998, German movement for democracy and justice in Chad) under the leadership of the former defense minister Youssouf Togoimi. After his death in September 2002 and a peace agreement with parts of the MDJT, however, numerous fighters continued the armed conflict.

After Chad’s active military involvement in the violent overthrow in the Central African Republic in March 2003, the conflict in the western Sudanese region of Darfur was the greatest security problem. The President’s ethnic group, the Zaghawa, settle across borders. The president’s hesitant partisanship in favor of the Zaghawa was already the reason for an attempted coup in May 2004. The flow of refugees from Sudan to eastern Chad and, in the spring of 2006, fights between government troops and rebel organizations near the capital N’Djamena also had a destabilizing effect on the country. In November 2006 fighting between Arab and black African ethnic groups broke out on the border with Sudan, as a result of which a state of emergency was declared.

After a constitutional amendment approved by referendum on June 6, 2005, which enables the president to run for a third term, Déby was appointed confirmed in office in the elections on May 3, 2006. In 2007, the government and the opposition, which had boycotted the 2006 presidential election, reached an agreement. to reform the electoral system. In 2008 rebels temporarily occupied parts of the capital N’Djamena. They were repulsed by government units after bloody fighting. EU and UN peacekeeping forces (EUFOR, MINURCAT) tried to stabilize the situation. In 2009 the army repulsed an attack by the rebel group “Union of Resistance Forces” (UFR), which operated from Darfur. In 2010 the relationship with Sudan, which was burdened by the effects of the Darfur conflict (2008 temporary suspension of diplomatic relations), was largely normalized.

On February 13, 2011, the population elected a new parliament. According to prozipcodes, the elections were won by the ruling party MPS with an overwhelming majority. In the presidential elections on April 25, 2011, incumbent Déby was confirmed in office with around 84% of the votes. The controversial polling had been boycotted by the main opposition candidates. The rebel group FPR (Front populaire pour le redressement, German Popular Front for the Upswing), operating from the Central African Republic, announced in mid-February 2012 that it would attack the capital N’Djamena. Troops from the Central African Republic and Chad then launched a joint military offensive against the rebels. Chad signed an agreement with Senegal in August 2012, according to which the former dictator Habré, who was sentenced to death in absentia for human rights violations in 2008, was to be tried there in cooperation with the African Union. On June 30, 2013, Habré was arrested in his exile. After an alleged attempted coup was thwarted in May 2013, there were numerous arrests of the military and opposition politicians. In the same year, Chad sent around 1,800 soldiers to support the French troops in the fight against Islamist rebels in Mali and then took part in the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA. Together with other states, Chad passed a resolution in 2015 to set up a reaction force to fight the terrorist organization Boko Haram. The government also blamed Boko Haram for terrorist attacks in N’Djamena in June 2015 when over 20 people were killed. The drop in oil prices worsened the country’s economic situation and the already precarious social situation of the population. The dissatisfaction with the authoritarian course of the v. a. President, who supported the army, grew, something that was not changed by numerous government reshuffles. On April 10, 2016, presidential elections took place. According to the electoral commission, Déby was confirmed in office with 61.6% of the votes. The former dictator Habré was sentenced to life imprisonment by a special tribunal in Dakar on May 30, 2016 for crimes against humanity.

Following a constitutional amendment passed by parliament on May 7, 2018, the offices of head of government and vice-president were abolished. The President of the Republic will be elected for 6 years in the future (5 until then). Instead of unlimited re-election (from 2004), only two terms of office are possible. In doing so, President Déby strengthened his authoritarian presidential regime.

Shortly after Déby was re-confirmed in office by a large majority in April 2021, he was killed in a skirmish with rebels on April 20, 2021. Immediately after the death of the late president, his son Mahamane Idriss Déby took over the leadership of a military transitional government. After a transition period of 18 months, there should be new elections.

Chad Recent History