Chad

  1. Chad to open embassy in Israel after resuming ties

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with President Mahamat Deby

    Chad will on Thursday open its embassy in Israel after the two countries renewed diplomatic ties in 2019.

    President Mahamat Deby is on a visit to Israel and met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday in Jerusalem.

    Chad, which has a majority Muslim population, cut ties with Israel in 1972.

    Mr Netanyahu's office said the two leaders will officiate the opening of the embassy but did not mention where it would be located, although most countries have kept embassies in Tel Aviv.

    "We believe that our co-operation can help not only advance our relations and our co-operation but it is also part of Israel's coming back to Africa and Africa coming back to Israel. We have common goals of security, prosperity and stability," a statement from the prime minister's office said.

    In recent years, Israel has made a big effort to improve diplomatic relations with several African countries.

  2. Sudan's leader Burhan visits Chad to boost ties

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Sudan military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Chad's interim president Mahamat Idriss Déby
    Image caption: The two leaders expressed their concern over communal violence in their countries

    Sudanese military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan travelled to neighbouring Chad on Sunday for talks aimed at cementing ties between the two countries, the state-run Suna news agency reported.

    Gen Burhan and Chadian interim military leader Mahamat Idriss Déby met in N'Djamena and renewed their commitment to implement a 2018 bilateral agreement, the news agency said.

    They also expressed their concern over communal violence in their countries and agreed to form a joint force to handle insecurity along their border.

    Gen Burhan and Mr Déby also agreed to take the necessary steps to tackle irregular immigration and weapons smuggling.

    They also agreed to bolster joint patrols along the tri-border area with the Central African Republic (CAR).

    The border region has been the focus of intense manoeuvring in recent weeks involving forces loyal to Sudanese deputy military leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, CAR and Chadian rebels as well as the Russian Wagner mercenary group.

  3. Car crash kills 20 in Chad

    Guy Bandolo

    BBC News

    A map of Chad showing Abéché, Oum-Hadjer and Ndjamena.

    At least 20 people have died and seven are injured after bus crashed into a broken-down lorry in Chad on Thursday night, authorities say.

    It happened on a road between Abéché and Oum-Hadjer in the east of the country.

    According to Chad's Transport Minister, Fatimé Goukouni Weddeye, the bus was carrying 31 passengers. She says the accident was caused by driver failures to comply with road safety rules - including speeding, overloading, fatigue and recklessness.

    Transitional President Mahamat Idriss Déby expressed his condolences to the victims' families and promised measures to reduce car accidents in Chad.

  4. Chadian activist wins Martin Ennals Award

    Delphine Djiraibé

    Chadian activist Delphine Djiraibé has won the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.

    She won the award along with jailed Kashmiri rights activist Khurram Parvez and Feliciano Reyna, a rights activist from Venezuela.

    "The common denominator between the 2023 Laureates... is their courage, passion, and determination to bring the voice of the voiceless to the international arena, despite the ongoing, sometimes life-threatening, challenges they endure," the award's jury chair Hans Thoolen said in a statement.

    The award ceremony will take place in Geneva on 16 February.

    Delphine Djiraibé is one of the first female lawyers in her country.

    For over 30 years, she challenged the authorities to secure basic rights for all Chadians, including the right to life, justice, freedom of opinion, food, education and health, a statement by the organisers said.

    It said Ms Djiraibé is renowned for initiating the prosecution of Chad’s former dictator, Hissène Habré, who was convicted for war crimes after 14 long years in 2016.

    The Martin Ennals Award is named after the late British lawyer who became the first head of the human rights organisation, Amnesty International.

  5. Chad says it foiled attempt to destabilise country

    BBC World Service

    The government in Chad says security forces have foiled an attempt by a group of army officers to destabilise the country.

    A statement said 11 army officers were involved.

    The government said security services had been arresting people linked to the plot since 8 December.

    It said the head of the plot was the president of the Chadian Human Rights Organisation, Baradine Berdei Targuio.

    Chad has been relatively unstable since April last year when the long-time ruler Idriss Déby died after visiting the front line to fight rebels.

    His son, Mahamat Idriss Déby, then seized power.

  6. UN 'shocked' by deaths of 27 migrants in Chad

    Chadian desert
    Image caption: Dozens of migrants died of thirst in the Chadian desert

    The UN migration agency says it is “deeply shocked and saddened” by the discovery of dozens of bodies, including those of children, in the Chadian desert.

    The 27 migrants had reportedly left Moussoro, a crossroads town in central Chad about 17 months ago in a pick-up truck, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement.

    It said the migrants, who included four children, died of thirst - with their trucks believed to have got lost in the deep desert.

    IOM Chad Chief of Mission Anne Kathrin Schaefer has sent her condolences to the families and called for stronger collective action to prevent further deaths.

    The migration agency says it has documented the deaths and disappearances of more than 5,600 people transiting through the Sahara Desert since 2014, with 149 deaths recorded so far this year.

    It says the numbers are likely higher as many migrant deaths go unrecorded.

  7. Chad jails 260 pro-democracy protesters

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A court in Chad has handed jail terms of up to three years to more than 260 people who were arrested after deadly protests in October.

    The mass trial took place in a high-security prison in the desert. Defence lawyers boycotted proceedings, arguing that the trial itself was not legal.

    More than 400 people faced charges, including taking part in an unauthorised gathering and disturbing public order.

    Officials said about 50 people died during October's nationwide pro-democracy protests - including 10 members of the security forces.

    Rights groups said more than 100 people were killed by security forces.

  8. Chad trials of pro-democracy activists due to start

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Smoke erupts from a vehicle set on fire during protests in N'Djamena, Chad, October 20, 2022
    Image caption: Dozens were killed and hundreds arrested in October's protests in N'Djamena

    In Chad trials are due to have begun inside a prison for around 400 protesters who were arrested last month during pro-democracy demonstrations.

    Dozens of people were killed during the protests - rights groups said they were shot by the security forces.

    Those arrested are being held in a remote prison, and lawyers have gone on strike to protest against their alleged mistreatment.

    It's impossible to know whether the trials have actually begun - because they are taking place inside a maximum security prison in the Chadian desert hundreds of kilometres away from the capital, N'djamena.

    Defence lawyers can't reach their clients and have now decided to stop attending any trials to protest against the mistreatment of the detainees.

    The government says the 400 people going on trial orchestrated violence during last month's protests against military rule.

    Officials said 50 demonstrators died but rights groups say the number is at least double that.

    They accuse the security forces of shooting them dead and have called for an international inquiry.

  9. Ten Chad soldiers killed in ambush by Islamists

    A boy collects water in a bucket from Lake Chad in 2018.
    Image caption: It happened in the Lake Chad area (archive photo)

    Reports from Chad say around 10 soldiers have been killed in an attack by Islamist militants.

    The attack took place in the early hours of Tuesday morning at an army post near Ngouboua in the Lake Chad area - a marshy region shared by Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria.

    It has been subject to many attacks by Boko Haram and the Islamic State group.

    Chad has been rocked by political turmoil, and severe drought caused by climate change is having a disastrous effect on livelihoods in the Sahel nation.

    Last week, the UN said 500 people had been killed in inter-communal violence since the start of the year - mainly in disputes between agricultural farmers and nomadic cattle herders looking for pasture.

    It also says a record 2.1 million people in the country are acutely hungry.

  10. Chad sacks top brass after bloody protest crackdown

    People in N'djamena stand next to the covered body of protester.
    Image caption: Civilians were killed in their dozens

    Three weeks after a deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Chad, the country's chief of police and head of the gendarmerie have been replaced, as have a number of other senior officers.

    French-language broadcaster RFI says it has spoken to an inside source who called it a tightening of power.

    Chad is ruled by a military junta whose leader originally said he would step down, but recently announced he was extending his rule by another two years.

    That announcement prompted mass protests by Chadians demanding a return to civilian rule. Dozens of civilians were killed in those protests leading to international criticism and a crisis summit of central African leaders.

  11. Kidnapped Frenchman freed in Chad

    A map of Chad

    A French-Australian national has been freed in Chad after being abducted on Friday.

    Jérôme Hugonnot had been taken hostage by unknown individuals in the eastern Wadi-Fira province, near the Sudanese border.

    On Sunday, Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Déby announced his release in a post on Twitter, saying he was “delightedfalse with the happy ending”.

    The Chadian leader did not indicate how the French national was released.

    The privately owned Tchadinfos website said he was released in an operation by French special forces supported by troops of the Chadian national army on the afternoon.

    It quoted Mr Hugonnot as telling journalists that the kidnap had been "shocking", shortly after arriving at the Adji Kossey military base in the capital N'Djamena.

    In a statement, the French foreign ministry said it had “learned with relief the release of our compatriot.

    “France thanks the Chadian authorities who worked for this release,” it added.

    Chad's border areas are often volatile due to limited state authority, inter-communal clashes and armed group activities..

  12. Summary execution of Chad protesters - rights group

    The Newsroom

    BBC World Service

    A Geneva-based human rights group, the World Organization against Torture, has accused authorities in Chad of summary executions and torture after at least 50 people died and hundreds were injured in clashes between protesters and security forces.

    The group had initially reported a higher number of deaths in the capital, N'Djamena and in four southern towns - Moundou, Doba, Koumra and Bebedjia.

    The clashes took place on Thursday when demonstrators turned out on the streets, responding to an opposition call for peaceful protests to mark the date when the military had promised to hand over power.

    The head of the military administration General Mahamat Idriss Deby has been in power since his father was killed in an operation against the rebels in April 2021.

  13. Chad begins national mourning for victims of protests

    Guy Bandolo

    BBC News

    Protesters in N"Djamena, Chad,
    Image caption: The protesters were demanding a return to civilian rule

    Chadian junta leader General Mahamat Idriss Déby has declared seven days of national mourning from Tuesday for the dozens of people killed during pro-democracy protests held last week.

    Around 50 people died in protests in several parts of the country to demand a return to civilian rule.

    In an address on Monday, Gen Déby said the protests were a "well-prepared insurrection" with the "support of foreign powers".

    He accused the demonstrators of having "coldly killed civilians" and "murdered" members of the security forces "in their barracks", with "the manifest desire to start a civil war".

    The junta leader accused political actors in the country of seeking the support of “foreign powers” to exert pressure on him, but he did not offer details on the foreign powers.

    “Outsiders have provided arms and money to opportunistic Chadians who have not hesitated for a moment to destroy the country to satisfy their interests and meet foreign agendas," Gen Déby said.

    Last week's protests took place on the day when President Déby was originally intended to step down, but a meeting earlier this month extended his rule for another two years.

    He was named president by the military in 2021 following the death of his father, Idriss Déby Itno, who had been in power since 1990.

  14. Video content

    Video caption: Chad protests: How have things got to this point?

    Following nationwide protests, reporter Ishaq Khalid explains how Chad has got to this point.

  15. Chad violence condemned as US embassy targeted

    Mayeni Jones

    BBC News

    Demonstrators in the capital stand next to the covered body of a person killed in the violence. The body is covered by a flag.
    Image caption: Demonstrators in the capital stand next to the covered body of a person killed in the violence

    There’s been international condemnation of the recent violence in Chad, where at least 50 protesters were killed and 300 others wounded in pro-democracy protests.

    The UN, the EU, and the United States have called for all parties to de-escalate, but members of the opposition have vowed to keep protesting.

    In an unusual move, the US embassy in Chad not only issued a statement condemning Thursday’s violence, but also posted a photo on its social media channels, showing the ambassador kneeling next to bloodied clothes on the street.

    This came after people dressed as civilians cleared checkpoints and killed four people outside the embassy gates.

    It’s not clear why the US embassy was targeted. A curfew is in place in the capital Ndjamena and three other towns where protests took place.

    Opposition members say demonstrations will continue until their demands are met.

    They want elections to be held as soon as possible. Interim President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, who came into power after his father, Idriss Déby died in April 2021, had promised to hold elections within 18 months. He’s now pushed them back to 2024.

    In its statement, the US embassy said it was concerned that the transitional military government had disregarded the African Union’s directive that its members shouldn’t stand in future elections.

  16. Chad wakes from first curfew as more protests planned

    Residents in Chad's capital city N'Djamena and three southern towns have woken up after the first overnight curfew, imposed by the military-led government yesterday.

    The crackdown followed clashes during pro-democracy protests that left nearly 50 people dead. More protests are expected today.

    There was outcry at the treatment of protesters on Thursday, and the US embassy in the capital shared this sombre photo of the aftermath:

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    The banned demonstrations - calling for a swifter transition to democratic rule - took place on the day when the junta leader, General Mahamat Idriss Déby, was originally intended to step down.

    A meeting earlier this month extended his rule for another two years.

    The new prime minister, Saleh Kebzabo, said the unrest amounted to an armed uprising.

    The government has also suspended the activities of three political parties.

    General Déby declared a state of emergency on Wednesday due to exceptionally heavy floods.

  17. Around 50 killed in Chad clashes - government

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC News

    Chad clash

    The military-led government in Chad says 50 people have been killed and more than 300 others wounded in a day of protest demanding a transition to democracy.

    Newly appointed Prime-Minister Saleh Kebzabo says some of the protesters were armed.

    Among those killed were members of the security forces. The government has announced a curfew in the capital and two other towns affected by the protests.

    The authorities say an investigation will be launched. An opposition leader told the BBC the protests would continue until the demands of the demonstrators are met.

  18. Security forces amongst Chad protest deaths - government

    BBC World Service

    The military-led government in Chad says members of the security forces are among a number of people who've died in a day of protests.

    Demonstrators in several cities - including the capital, N'Djamena - set up burning barricades and attacked official buildings.

    A police station and the party headquarters of the newly-appointed prime minister, Saleh Kebzabo, were among the targets.

    A spokesman for the Chadian government, Aziz Mahamat Saleh, said there were about 30 deaths in all.

    He said the protests had turned into an insurrection. The unrest took place on the day when President Mahamat Idriss Deby was originally intended to step down.

    A meeting earlier this month extended his rule for another two years.

  19. African Union commission head condemns Chad clashes

    Moussa Faki Mahamat
    Image caption: Moussa Faki Mahamat was previously Prime Minister of Chad

    The head of the African Union (AU), Moussa Faki Mahamat, has condemned violent clashes which have erupted in Chad between police and protesters in the capital city, as we reported earlier.

    "I strongly condemn the repression of the demonstrations which led to the death of men at #Tchad," the AU's chair of the commission, Mr Mahamat said.

    "I call on the parties to respect human lives and property and to favour peaceful ways to overcome the crisis," he continued.

    Protest

    People are demonstrating against Chad's transitional military government and calling for a return to civilian rule.

    Police used gunfire and tear gas to disperse the protestors and some parts of N'Djamena have been cordoned off.

    A journalist and a policeman have reportedly been killed during the protest, but there are no official casualty figures.

    Meanwhile, France's spokesperson condemned the use of lethal weapons against protesters and denied Paris' involvement.

    Chad military
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