Since Chad's independence in 1960, the country has been marked by instability and violence. The country faces major threats to stability from Boko Haram and a large number of refugees from neighboring countries. Attacks by Boko Haram in Chad’s Lac Region have prompted displacement, exacerbating food insecurity and other humanitarian needs. Furthermore, deteriorating security conditions in the region have impeded humanitarian response efforts in 2017. In the Lake Chad region, UNICEF has warned that nearly half a million children face Severe Acute Malnutrition and that many will not receive help while they remain trapped in areas controlled by Boko Haram. Amidst these developing humanitarian crises, in April 2018, the Parliament approved a new constitution expanding the president’s powers.
Primary Terrorist Presence in Chad:
- Boko Haram was designated as a terrorist group by the United States in November 2013. In 2016, Boko Haram split into two factions: ISWAP, which is led by Abu Musab al-Barnawi, and Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad (JAS), led by Abubakar Shekau. Boko Haram attacks in Chad have increased since 2018, with at least 12 between March 2018 and April 2019. The nature of these attacks has shifted from mainly suicide bombings when it was a united front in 2015, to direct assaults on villages to kill and loot as many goods as possible, or raids against army positions (ISS).
Human Rights, Humanitarian and Refugee Crises:
- Chad is home to 446,100 refugees and 84,300 Chadian returnees who have fled political instability and insecurity in the Central African Republic, Nigeria and the Sudan.
- Approximately 4.1 million people, including 2.3 million children, will need humanitarian assistance in 2019 due to high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition.
Other Restrictions on Humanitarian Aid:
- UNICEF 2019 Report: Criminal activity in N’Djamena continues to be high. Acts of crime including theft of personal belongings and road accidents are the most frequent types of incidents affecting UN personnel. During January, security measures have not led to restrictions on program activities.
Chad in Recent News
- Chad Suspends Import Taxes on Food to Avoid Sudan-Style Protests, Bloomberg (May 13, 2019)
- Measles Epidemic Declared in May 2018 is Still Not Under Control, Doctors Without Borders (May 10, 2019)