The population of Chad in 2017 was 14.8 million people, with the majority living in rural areas. The economy of Chad is largely based on oil production, with a GDP of $13.9 billion and a relatively low per capita income. Chad is a member of the United Nations, African Union (AU), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). It has close ties to many countries throughout Africa as well as France. In terms of politics, Chad is a unitary presidential republic with President Idriss Déby as its head of state. The Prime Minister is Albert Pahimi Padacké who leads the Patriotic Salvation Movement which has been in power since 1990. See militarynous for Chad military and defense.
Chad. At the beginning of the year, Chad closed its border with Libya and stationed militia in an attempt to stop armed militia fleeing from fighting in lawless Libya. Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacké said groups had gathered near Chad’s northern border, and the border area was declared a military zone. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for frequently used acronyms and abbreviations related to as well as country profile of Chad.
In January, Chad’s Foreign Minister Faki Mahamat was elected new President of the AU Commission, the African Union’s equivalent to the EU Commission. He was succeeded as Foreign Minister by the Minister of Culture, who in turn got a successful film director as successor, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun.
According to Countryaah.com, UNHCR had registered nearly 400,000 refugees in Chad, mainly from neighboring countries Sudan and the Central African Republic. Chad was one of the countries where the refugee camps received housing developed by IKEA together with the organization Better Shelter and UNHCR. The houses are made of recyclable plastic, delivered in flat packages, can be assembled in four hours, can accommodate five people and have a solar panel on the roof.
Over 10 million people were estimated to be in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in the region of the drought-hit and shrinking Lake of Chad, where the ravages of Boko Haram’s ravages forced large numbers of people to flee their homes. At a donor conference in Oslo in February, the equivalent of SEK 6 billion was promised emergency aid to those affected in western Chad and in neighboring countries. According to the UN, close to 2 million people were on the verge of starvation. In southern Chad, child mortality was very high and 95% of girls were estimated to be illiterate.
In April, a Senegal special court declared that life imprisonment against Chad’s former dictator Hissène Habré was upheld. Habré was in exile in Senegal and had appealed against a lower court judgment for crimes against humanity, war crime, torture and more. Habré ruled Chad in 1982–90, when it is estimated that over 40,000 people were killed and more than 200,000 were tortured.
In May, nine Chadian soldiers were killed and about thirty were injured when they were attacked by Boko Haram in Kaiga north of Lake Chad. According to the military, many attackers were killed. The military also said that more than 160 jihadists were killed in June in fighting on islands in Lake Chad near the Nigerian border. Some soldiers were also killed.
In June, the UN Security Council supported the plans for a regional security force jointly for Chad and four other Sahel states. Approximately 10,000 police and military are to fight terror groups in the region with financial support from the EU.
The opposition politician and former presidential candidate Laoukein Médard was arrested in June on charges of financial irregularities. Supporters of Médard later tried to free him from prison, but then they were also arrested.
Chad’s economy was severely affected by the security situation, the influx of refugees and the fall in oil prices. The state’s revenue had to depend on oil exports to three quarters. Critics said that too much of the government’s budget went to the military. President Idriss Déby wanted to postpone the planned parliamentary elections indefinitely because of the country’s poor economy. Through pledges from various donor countries, Chad was able to secure $ 18.5 billion for a development program for the years 2017–21. Allied France was one of the donors, and Paris therefore urged Chad to set a date for the parliamentary elections. France, the EU and the United States see Déby as his most important ally in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel region and are keen for him to emerge as a democratic electorate. France’s counter-terrorism force of 4,000 men has its headquarters in N’Djamena.
Chad was included in the new US list of countries whose citizens were banned from entering the United States in September. The Chad government protested and demanded that the decision be repealed with reference to US and Chad’s cooperation against terrorism. France took Chad in defense, declared that Chad was an ally and urged the United States to reconsider its decision.