Last Updated: Monday, 28 July 2014, 16:37 GMT

Chronology for Southerners in Chad

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Southerners in Chad, 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/469f3878c.html [accessed 29 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
1501 - 1900 Arab slave raids prevailed over the region. These raids increased contact between the Arabs and the Islamic peoples of northern Chad, but led to isolation and antagonism of the traditional peoples of Southern Chad.
1891 French colonial power intruded into Chad. The French successfully established authority in the South, but held little control in the Muslim-dominated North. Since the northern peoples were largely nomadic, authority was difficult to maintain, and had to be preserved through traditional regional conduits of power, such as local chiefs and other patriarchs.
1905 The French formed French Equatorial Africa (FEA), placing Chad, Oubangui-Charo, Moyen Congo, and Gabon under its administration. During the colonial period, French developmental efforts (e.g. building schools and medical facilities) largely favored the south.
1959 The colonial system of the FEA was dissolved, incorporating the newly autonomous states into the French community.
1960 Chad became an independent state and Francois Tomalbabye, a Southerner, was sworn in as President. Independent Chad has been plagued by internal rebellions and civil war, instigated by the indirect financial and military support, and sometimes by the direct military intervention, of external powers (France, Libya, and the USA). Tomalbabye openly adopted policies in favor of the Southerners.
1962 Tomalbabye proclaimed a one-party state, leaving Muslims no means for their political expression. The number of Muslims holding government offices was reduced.
1963 Riots between Muslims and non-Muslims broke out in Ndjamena, the capital, leaving more than one hundred dead.
1965 A forcible collection of exorbitant taxes in Mangalme, home of the Moubi, a subgroup of the Hadjerai, triggered riots. Following the riots, which were mercilessly repressed by the army, a civil war broke out between the Southerner-dominated government and the Muslim Chadians of north, east, and central Chad. The replacement of the French by the southern-dominated Chadian army, and the attempt to "sedentarize" the nomadic population in the BET region, resulted in the formation of the Toubou group's northern wing of the Front for National Liberation of Chad (FROLINAT).
1969 French troops intervened in the civil war on behalf of the government. Tombalbye's rule became increasingly repressive and irrational.
1971 The northern rebel forces split into two factions: the northern Second Army, led by Goukouni Weddeye and later called the Force Armees du Nord (FAN); and the First Army, led by Abba Siddick. Fierce fighting between these two factions ensued.
Oct 1972 Hissein Habre, a Toubou or Gorane, became the leader of the reconstituted FAN, now known as the Conseil de Commuande des Forces Armees du Nord (CCFAN). Beginning in 1972, the Tombalbaye regime began declining despite French-assisted administrative reform and reconciliatory measures.
Apr 1975 Malloum requested French military support to protect his regime when a FAP offensive broke out.
Apr 13, 1975 A military coup ousted Tombalbye. General Felix Malloum, a Southerner, became President and formed the Conseil Superieure Militaire (CSM). Malloum, in consolidating his base of power by pursuing a policy of nation-building, expanded his government to include more Northerners. Nevertheless, the results of the coup did little to redress the imbalance of power and resources between the north and south, thus the root cause of the Northern FROLINAT insurgency remained. As Malloum was reluctant to militarily engage the rebels, large parts of the center, east, and north fell under the control of various rebel groups. In the wake of disharmony between different leaders, the rebel forces continued to factionalize into at least three groups: i) CCFAN under Habre, ii) the Forces Armees Populaires (FAP), an alliance between Goukouni and Acyl; and iii) the Conseil Democratique Revolutionnaire (CDR), formed by Acyl who later left FAP.
Aug 1978 The French and Libyan governments facilitated peace talks between the Malloum government and the various rebel factions, thus leading to the signing of the Habre-Malloum Fundamental Charter. Under the Charter, Habre became Prime Minister while Malloum remained Head of State. The CSM was disassembled to form the Conseil de Defense et de Securite (CDS), in which the CSM members and the members of Habre's CCFAN shared equal portions of the seats. Arabic became an official language and Prime Minister Habre was to hold elections to a Constituent Assembly. Prior to the elections, tensions arose when Habre began to exclude Southerners, notably making the Sara, a Southern group, feel isolated. Meanwhile, the national army (Forces Armees Tchadiennes or FAT) failed to integrate with Habre's FAN.
1979 Continued internal dissent within the government led Habre to mobilize the national army in Ndjamena. Habre's FAN troops massacred Southerners in Ndjamena in the midst of ethnic, regional and religious unrest. In retribution for the massacre by Habre's FAN, Southerners killed between five to ten thousand Arab Muslims. As a result, a full-scale civil war between eleven major factions consumed all regions of Chad. Inter-communal violence escalated, thus ending Malloum's regime. Large areas of the country fell under the control of competing warlords.
Feb 1979 A school strike of Muslims, allegedly supported by the FAN, rekindled tensions between FAN and Southern troops. A series of international conferences in Nigeria, convened by the OAU, produced an accord between the warring factions, creating a transitional government and promising elections.
Nov 1979 With the backing of the OAU, the National Union Transition Government [GUNT]) was established, which included elements from the Front d'Action Commun Provisoire (FACP). Goukouni, Habre, and Acyl (leaders of the three factions of the Northern rebel forces, CCFAN, FAP, and CDR) took the position of President, Defence Minister, and Foreign Minister, respectively. Col. Kamougue (a Southerner) became Vice President.
Dec 1979 GUNT, the interim government, failed to quell the increasing factionalism throughout the state.
Mar 1980 Troops loyal to Habre (FAN) and Goukouni (FACP), within GUNT, clashed with each other. As the conflict spread, Goukouni asked for, and received, 7,000 Libyan troops. Habre and his forces were eliminated from GUNT.
Jun 1980 Gaddafy, President of Libya, announced a treaty between Chad and Libya, calling for mutual support, and developing into Libyan military intervention.
1981 Although Goukouni, Head of GUNT, requested the withdrawal of all Libyan forces in 1981, the Libyans only pulled back to the Aozou Strip, in Northern Chad. The remainder of the Libyan forces were replaced by a peacekeeping force under the auspices of the OAU. As the OAU struggled to remain neutral, the conflict continued. The United States began to support Habre's forces in order to destabilize Gaddafy.
1982 Goukoiuni refused to negotiate with Habre. Habre's forces defeated those loyal to GUNT, resulting in Habre's occupation of the capital. In the summer of 1982, government (GUNT) forces assaulted rebel Habre positions in the north and east. Despite initial defeats, GUNT forces succeeded in stopping the rebel forces, which resulted in direct Libyan, French, and Zairian intervention.
Jun 7, 1982 Habre (a Northerner) took the capital. The OAU accepted Habre as the new leader of Chad. Since Habre came to power, resistance forces concentrated on the Kamougue's (FACP) area of support in the far south. In a rare coalition, Habre forces united with Sara forces, who are Southerners, to oust Kamougue.
Oct 1982 The old Gunt factions (southern FAT, Goukouni's FAP, and CDR with Acheikh ibn Oumar having replaced Acyl) created a government in exile at Goukouni's northern stronghold in Bardai, Tibesti. However, the U.S. and French governments supported the Habre regime. The legitimacy of Habre, who was responsible for 1979 and 1981 massacres during the fierce civil war, was questioned particularly by Southerners.
1983 Forces Armees Nationales du Tchad (FANT), a new national army, was established, which served to pave the road to broaden Habre's support.
May 1 - Aug 31, 1983 Violent clashes were reported in the south where Habre attempted to collect taxes. With support from Libya and GUNT, the Codos Rouge, a southern rebel group, was formed against the Habre regime. The Central African Republic (whose northern peoples are ethnic kin to the Sara) provided Codos with sanctuary and allowed Libya and GUNT to operate within its borders.
Jun 1983 With increased US military aid and a French intervention, called "Operation Manta", Habre kept GUNT at bay and effectively partitioned Chad until 1987.
1984 Habre made conciliatory gestures by dismantling and replacing the ruling FROLINAT-CCFAN coalition with UNIR, the National Union for Independence and the Revolution. The UNIR included 6 Southerners in its 15 member body, but key posts were retained by Northerners. The presence of foreign troops had stabilized the region and the French and Libyan governments announced the mutual withdrawal of their forces from Chad. While French forces left Chad, Libya refused to honor the agreement and continued to occupy the northern tier of Chad.
Jul 1984 The UNIR named as Defense Minister, a former leader of the Southern rebel Codos group.
Aug 1984 A breakdown in talks between Codos and the government resulted in violent clashes in four out of five southern prefectures. The Government's brutal oppression, supported by General Kolingba of the Central African Republic who has his own domestic motives, led to wide scale massacres of civilians and to the demolishing of villages.
1985 Habre regained control over most of the south. Two of the chief exile opposition groups, the Chadian Democratic Front and the Democratic Revolutionary Council, reached accords with Habre and the government.
Dec 1986 With the backing of US and French forces, Habre recovered control over all of Chad's territory. The CDR stopped collaborating with Goukouni and formed a neo-GUNT under Acheikh ibn Oumar (who replaced Acyl). As Libya switched its support to Acheikh, Goukouni began to rally toward Habre. By 1986, many of the rebel groups reached accords with Habre and were integrated into the Chadian Army. With the assistance of ex-GUNT forces, Habre attacked the occupying Libyan forces in the north, succeeding in temporarily expelling the Libyans. Prior to 1984, the Hadjerai group had backed Habre (a Toubou or Gorane) and formed a large portion of the FAN, Habre's armed forces that enabled him to come to power. Growing tensions began with a decline in the number of Hadjerai in the government and army. Hadjerais were replaced by members of the Zaghawa and Goranes groups. Arrests of Hadjerai leaders triggered guerrilla insurgencies by the Mouvement du Salut National du Tchad (MOSANAT) in the Guera highlands from late 1986. Meanwhile, Idriss Deby, a Zaghawa, and his relatives, Hassan Djamous and Mahammat Itno, were principal supporters of Habre since 1980. The security services and elite army units, led by Itno, were increasingly dominated by Zaghawa while the traditional ruling group of the Zaghawa, the Haggar, was offended by Itno, Deby, and Djamous's attempts to include relatives into power structures.
Sep 12, 1987 Despite some skirmishes on the Sudan border, a Chad-Libya cease-fire was reached that held well into 1988.
Oct 1988 Habre's government resumed formal diplomatic relations with Libya at the request of the OAU and under French pressure. Following the accords with the rebel groups and the war against Libya, Habre formally took power in Ndjamena.
Nov 1988 Six rebel leaders, who rallied to UNIR by August 1988 and took up ministerial posts, alienated more long-standing Habre supporters and created dissention within rebel forces over the defection of their leaders. The Hadjerai group, from the central Guera highlands, and the Zaghawa group, living in the north and east, were effectively opposing one another between 1987 and 1988. Acheikh ibn Oumar, former leader of the pro-Libyan CDR, returned to Habre's government, thus spurring a split among his Zaghawa supporters. 500 former CDR fighters in Darfur and another 200 or more who were abandoned by Acheikh in Ndjamena, joined the First Army and MOSANAT. The remaining CDR split into two Libyan based-groups, led by Rakhis Manani and Moctar Moussa. Prior to 1987-1988, conciliatory gestures brought dissident Arab and Southern factions back into government folds. But traditional and newly emerging allies have increasingly been excluded from power, leaving Habre's regime with limited legitimacy.
1989 President Habre became skeptical of Zaghawa's support, removed the conventional security forces from Itno's control, and created his own private security force drawn from the Gorane group.
Apr 1, 1989 Habre foiled a coup attempt mounted by Itno (Interior Minister), Djamous (the Army commander), and Deby (the presidential advisor). Clan rivalry was believed to be a motivation of the coup, since all three coup plotters were from the Zaghawa ethnic group in the east, and President Habre is a Gorane from Northern Chad. Zaghawas increasingly perceived that they were being excluded from power. Three coup leaders fled to Sudan and at least 100 coup-related Zaghawa were imprisoned. Habre was increasingly favoring the Goranes at the expense of all others.
Dec 10, 1989 Chad's first referendum since 1969 resulted in the adoption of a new constitution and the endorsement of President Habre for an additional seven year term. The Constitution provides elections to the National Assembly, however the elections must take place within the existing one-party framework (i.e., the UNIR).
Jul 8, 1990 An estimated 56.6% of eligible voters participated in Chad's first general election since 1962. Members of the UNIR did not run a formal campaign, but rather ran as individuals. Several UNIR central committee members were defeated.
Dec 1, 1990 President Habre and his government fled to neighboring Cameroon following the defeat of his forces by the smaller rebel army of the Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS), led by former Habre advisor Deby. After forming the MPS in Sudan, Deby led assaults on bordering government positions. Key to Deby's success was the support of his own tribe, the Zaghawa, who supported Deby's forces in pivotal battles in Tine and Iriba. Although President Habre's forces were much larger, there were reports of mass desertions. Deby's forces launched the invasion of Chad with alleged Libyan assistance, but neither Libya nor France took direct action in support of Deby's coup.
Feb 1991 The National Charter was approved by the MPS and the new government was created under the terms of the Charter. The Charter established Deby as President and created an interim government for a 30 month period, after which a referendum would be held for a new constitution.
Mar 3, 1991 The National Movement of Chadian Renovators, a Libyan-based opposition group, accused the National Charter of being anti-democratic and demanded elections.
Oct 4, 1991 The Council of Ministers published an order which stated that political parties must renounce tribalism, regionalism, and religious discrimination.
Oct 13, 1991 A coup attempt, led by the MPS Interior Minister and Vice President, Maldom Bada Abbas, failed when a group of soldiers unsuccessfully attacked an arsenal near the airport in the capital. Observers interpreted the coup as a rebellion against the dominance of Deby's Zaghawa clan.
Jan 1992 Fighting between rebel forces and the government army continued in the Lake Chad region. Deby's government claimed that a rebel assault on the town of TchoukouHadje had left several people dead.
Jan 3, 1992 Forces allied with the opposition groups Forces Armees Occidentales (FAO), the Mouvement pour la Democratie et le Developement (MDD), and the Movement for Development and Democracy (MDD), launched an invasion of Chad from Nigeria. The rebels advanced in the eastern Lake Chad region, capturing the towns of Liwa and Bol. The rebels were led by Goukouni Guet, a former supporter of President Habre.
Jan 8 - 11, 1992 According to opposition parties and human rights organizations, between 10 and 50 people were killed and arrested as the Deby's government persecuted former members of the Habre government.
Jan 17, 1992 Prime Minister Jean Aligue Bawoyeu announced the pardoning of political prisoners. The amnesty applied to those arrested in the rebel invasion and subsequent coup attempt in October of 1991.
Feb 1992 The CSNDP (Committe for Action for Peace and Democracy) first emerged after a soldier killed Joseph Behidi, vice president of the Chadian Human Rights League. Behidi was a southerner.
Mar 16, 1992 The government approved the creation of two political parties: the Rally for Democracy (RDP), led by the Mayor of Ndjamena, Lol Mahamat Choua, and the Chadian Union for Democracy and Progress (UPDT), lead by Elie Romba. At least four other parties were recognized or applied for recognition in March and April.
Apr 10, 1992 The opposition group, MDD, accused the government of requesting the arrest and extradition of more than 40 people, including the MDD leader, Goukouni Guet, in Nigeria. The MDD was reportedly loyal to former President Habre.
Apr 18 - 19, 1992 Soldiers representing President Deby's Zaghawa tribe surrounded the presidential palace in protest of scheduled cutbacks in military spending and the demilitarization of the Ndjamena. The troops were persuaded to disband by Transport Minister Abbas Koty (a Zaghawa).
May 20, 1992 Prime Minister Joseph Yodemane was appointed by presidential decree. It was reported that Yodemane had ties to the National Alliance for Democracy and Development (ANDD).
May 22, 1992 The formation of a new cabinet, which included many members representing opposition groups, was announced.
Jun 18, 1992 The Deby's government successfully thwarted a coup attempt by Minister of Public Works and Transport, Col. Abbas Koty. Koty was said to have planned the insurrection through contacts in several towns. Koty and dissident troops reportedly fled Chad.
Jun 24, 1992 An agreement was reached between the government and the opposing MDD leadership calling for the end of hostilities. Persons captured by both sides, as a result of the fighting between the two parties, were scheduled to be released.
Jul 6, 1992 France repudiated its demand for a national conference in Chad to deal with escalating violence and instability. Following the coup plot in June, French officials believed that Deby's regime is too weak to survive the ensuing debate.
Aug 24, 1992 13 parties of the Coordinating Committee of the Democratic Opposition condemned the alleged massacres of civilians by government forces in the south.
Sep 6 - 9, 1992 The government formally signed peace agreements with three rebel organizations, including the MDD, the National Revival Committee for Peace and Democracy (CSNPD), and the Chadian National Front (FNT).
Oct 30, 1992 The MDD announced that it was repudiating the reconciliation agreements it had signed earlier with the Deby government. The MDD accused President Deby of seeking arms from Libya and delaying the National Conference scheduled for January 15 of the following year.
Nov 18, 1992 It was reported that members of the rebel FNT surrendered their weapons to Sudanese officials, in compliance with the negotiated accords with the Deby's government.
Jan 14, 1993 The Front for National Liberation of Chad (FROLINAT) announced the dismissal of its leadership, installing Mahmoud Ali Mahmoud as President. FRONLINAT decided to participate in the National Conference. Members of the MDD said that they were willing to take part in the National Conference, provided that their security was guaranteed and despite the continuing clashes between MDD forces and government troops in the Lake Chad region. Clashes were also reported in the Gore region, in the south of the country.
Jan 15, 1993 Approximately 750 delegates, representing political parties, the government, trade unions, and the army, gathered in Ndjamena, to attend the National Conference at the invitation of President Deby. The aim of the conference was to create a pluralist democratic regime.
Jan 24 - 25, 1993 A coup, led by supporters of former President Habre, was thwarted by the government and Prime Minister Yodoyman. The coup plotters were hoping to take advantage of Deby's absence while he was visiting France.
Feb 1 - 18, 1993 Clashes between government troops and anti-Deby forces continued in the Lake Chad region. The League of Human Rights accused the Republican Guard, an elite division of the national army, of genocide in the south. The organization cited massacres and the burning and looting of villages throughout southern Chad. The report coincides with similar accusations against government forces by members of the opposition group, Union for Renewal and Democracy (URD). The URD specifically charged the government with religious cleansing in the south.
Feb 13, 1993 Adoum Maurice Melbongo, President of the Presidium of the Sovereign National Conference, appealed for a nationwide cease-fire and urged all rebel groups to send delegates to the National Conference.
Feb 20, 1993 The MDD claimed to have successfully repelled a government attack in the Lake Chad region. The opposition group claimed to have killed hundreds of government soldiers.
Apr 17, 1993 The Chadian Association for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights (ATPDH) accused Deby's Republican Guard of massacring 104 civilians in southern Chad on April 5. ATPDH accused the guard of massacres in the villages of Kouh, Kobiteye, and Bekolo. The continuing reports of massacres of southerners, by Deby forces, has increased tension and antagonism between the peoples of the north and south.
May 1993 Chad Non-Violence, a human rights organization, decided to recall its representatives from the Higher Transitional Council (the transitional parliament) to protest the violence in the south.
May 4, 1993 According to the government, new rebel attacks were launched against government forces in Gore (eastern Logone) in southern Chad. The government believed that the Committee for National Salvation for Peace and Democracy (CSNPD), led by former Lt. Kette Nodje Moise, was responsible for the renewed violence.
May 10, 1993 In response to mounting criticism of human rights violations in southern Chad, President Deby dissolved the Center for Research and Coordination of Information (CRCR), the government intelligence service. The organization has been criticized by human rights organizations and opposition groups.
Jun 1993 According to the former Minister of the Interior, Neatobei Bidi Valentin, approximately 3,000 armed troops, who are not officially affiliated with the Chadian army, were "occupying" Ndjamena. Valentin suggested that many of the armed troops were former members of former President Habre's Documentation and Security Management (DDS) agency, who were responsible for political persecution. Valentine also claimed that twenty additional villages were "occupied" in Biltine (north-east region, near Sudan).
Jun 27, 1993 Following escalating unrest in Ndjamena, President Deby issued decrees aimed at controlling the violence. The measures included a ban on religious and tribal demonstrations, a ban on carrying weapons, as well as other restrictions on movement and authorization.
Aug 2, 1993 Following an improvement in the security situation in the capital, President Deby ordered the previously decreed curfew to be lifted.
Aug 8, 1993 Clashes between demonstrators and the government were precipitated by an organized demonstration by Ndjamena residents originating from Ouaddai. The demonstrators were protesting alleged massacres in the Chokoyan district, near Abeche. The government claimed that the assailants were killed by special units of the army. In addition, the government dispatched a ministerial mission to the region to evaluate the situation.
Aug 15, 1993 The Chadian government and Abbas Koti, the rebel leader of the National Council for Recovery in Chad, reached agreement and signed a peace accord in Tripoli.
Sep 1993 The CSNPD, a rebel group representing the people of the southern Logone Oriental Region, threatened to sabotage the government supported oil exploration in the region. The CSNPD demanded the introduction of federalism and the withdrawal of Deby's Republican Guard from the region. In addition, the CSNPD demanded reparations for the alleged massacres in the region by the Republican Guard and other armed units. President Deby sent a mission to the region to investigate the human rights abuses, as well as to investigate demands for greater autonomy.
Jan 8, 1994 The Minister of the Interior banned a scheduled demonstration by the democratic opposition in Ndjamena. This was the first such ban on political organizations since the recognition of opposition parties by the government in 1992.
Jan 14, 1994 The leadership of the opposing MDD, which operates in the Lake Chad region, and the National Union for Democracy and Socialism (UNDS), called for opposition groups to unite against the Deby government. Brahim Malla and Youssou Sougoudi encouraged other opposition groups to join them in opposing the government.
Jan 18, 1994 As a result of continuing turmoil, President Deby reshuffled his cabinet. The ministers of finance, education, and energy were replaced.
Jan 23, 1994 30 rebels affiliated with the FNT, an opposition party, were killed by government forces after an assault on a supply depot in the Abeche garrison, north-east of the capital. The FNT assault occurred as the troops were being integrated into the national army, a nine month old process. The assault follows a period of increased activity by the FNT in the north-east regions, led by Faris Bacher. A curfew was declared throughout the Ouaddai region.
Feb 24, 1994 A peace accord was signed between the government and Moise Kette, the leader of the rebel movement, CSNPD. However, Kette reiterated his appeal for a referendum on a federal structure for Chad. The peace accord did not stop fighting in Chad.
Mar 30, 1994 A rebel attack on government installations in the locality of Bekerou resulted in the deaths of five people. The attack was staged by the CSNPD, whose leader Moise Kette signed peace accord with the government in February.
Apr 1994 A coalition of ten opposition parties and 15 associations known as "Alternate 94", requested that the government extend its transition period from April 1994 to April 1995. Alternate 94 claimed to need the extra time to better prepare for presidential and legislative elections. Alternate 94 also suggested a new Transitional Charter, the formation of a new government, and the staging of peace talks with the various rebel groups operating throughout Chad.
May 3, 1994 The government accused rebels of killing about 70 people in Beboungai and Bedinga in the South. The CSNPD denied the charges claiming those towns contain their supporters (its leader, Moise Kette, is from Beboungai). They accused the government of the killings in reprisal for defeats in clashes with the CSNPD at Bekourou. The president of Central African Republic, Patasse, ordered the CSNPD rebels to stop operating from its territory.
Jun 1994 A twelve member reconciliation committee was set up by the government to make contact with the four main rebel groups in the country.
Jul 2, 1994 The government launched a new initiative against rebels. Peace with the rebels has become urgent because oil giants Esso, Shell and Elf are all investigating oil reserves in the South at Doba.
Jul 8, 1994 State radio claimed that rebels had killed more than 100 people in attacks on villages in the South. There was no independent confirmation of the report.
Aug 1994 The Chadian government and southern Christian rebels signed a peace agreement and ordered an immediate cease-fire after six days of talks in Central African Republic. The government agreed to withdraw the feared Republican Guard from the south, recognize the CSNPD as a legal political party, and grant amnesty to the rebels. CSNPD leader Moise Kette agreed to end the insurrection and denounce violence. Previous peace agreements have failed to last. Several other rebel groups are still fighting the government. A new group, FARF (Armed Forces for a Federal Republic), led by former Kette ally Loakein Barde, has recently emerged in the southern prefectures of Logone Oriental and Logone Occidental.
Sep 1994 Lt. Col. Mahakrat, who was removed as head of the army in May, fled to Cameroon with about 600 loyal soldiers. He was reportedly heading for eastern Chad near the Sudan border. The CSNPD was authorized to operate as a political party on 26 September 1994.
Oct 1994 The government signed a peace accord with rebels of the Chadian National Front (FNT). FNT was said to number several hundred people and operated in the Ouaddai region in the northeast. It provides for FNT forces to be encamped and integrated into the national army and for civilian members to join the Chadian civil service. CSNPD also demanded the total withdrawal of members of the Chadian Republican Guard from the south before it would regroup its forces to be integrated into the national army.
Nov 1994 In a leaflet distributed in the town of Abeche, Islamic fundamentalists have ordered Chadians in the south to leave the region or face reprisals accordingly.
Dec 1994 About 1500 former CSNPD rebels have been integrated into the national army. But, arrests of military forces have been made in the south.
Feb 10, 1995 CSNPD leader Kette said the government was making arrests, imposing fines, and extorting property under the pretext of looking for weapons in the Bodo Dodopen and Amodo areas. Kette claimed there was no need for searches as the military wing of CSNPD was being integrated into the national army and no longer operated independently.
Mar 18, 1995 The FDR, Democratic Front for Renewal, composed of Arab Choa, Toucou and Kanouri ethnic groups and led by Ahmed Mohammed attacked a village in eastern Niger. Thirteen, including nine rebels, were reported killed. FDR came on the scene in Chad a few months ago.
Apr 1995 A new transition Prime Minister is named: Korbla Djimasta. He was in the opposition party which is led by southerner Jean Alingue. Democratic elections are scheduled for 1996. Half of 14,000 Chadian refugees in the Central African Republic began their journey home.
Apr 13, 1995 MDD faction led by Brahim Mallah claimed that six government soldiers were killed during clashes.
Apr 26, 1995 MDD rival factions began operating once again in unity under a unified command structure. MDD had split in 1994.
May 1995 The government announced that Arabic would become the language of instruction in schools and that Sharia was the source of law in Chad.
Jun 11, 1995 Violent clashes between the government and MDD rebels were reported in the Lake Chad region.
Jul 1995 The rebel groups MDD and NFT (based in Sudan) announced they would resume armed struggle in Chad because of national army attacks in the Lake Chad region. There are no specific reports of clashes.
Jul 13, 1995 FDR claimed responsibility for an attack on a military post in the southeast. The FDR is calling for regional autonomy through a federal system. It is not recognized by the government.
Sep 1995 Clashes occurred in the towns of Palu and Lere between southern farmers and northern traders after the arrest of the leader of the Union for Development and Renewal, Saleh Kebzabo. Five people were killed in the unrest. Kebzabo was later released.
Nov 1995 The government, opposition parties and rebel movements were to hold roundtable talks in Gabon in late November to discuss problems over the country's much-delayed elections (originally scheduled for 1994). The government and MDD president Oumar Kadjala reportedly signed a peace agreement. It provides for incorporating MDD members into the Chadian military, reinstatement of MDD civil servants and the release of detainees identified by the MDD.
Dec 1995 The government reportedly signed a draft peace agreement with the armed wing of the Democratic Armed Forces led by Marcelin Zenian on the 9th. On the 22nd, four members of the National Council for Democracy and Revolution, and armed group from Logone Occidenta, joined the government.
Feb 1996 President Deby said he believed elections could go ahead in June despite the failure of round table talks with the opposition in January.
Jul 1996 President Idriss Deby won ~69% of the votes cast in a runoff to decide Chad's first multiparty presidential elections. Turnout was 78%. Deby was opposed by General Kamougue, a southerner who had led the 1975 coup that killed Chad's first president Francois Tombalbaye. Opposition leader Kebzabo, a long-time Deby opponent told his supporters to vote for Deby in the second round of elections and to work for unity. He is from the Mayo-Kebbi region in southern Chad and suggested that many southerners would find it difficult to vote for Kamougue. Deby was the only candidate with a nation-wide party structure.
Aug 1996 The government of Idriss Deby signed a peace deal with a southern rebel group. The Patriotic and Democratic wing of the Armed Forces for the Federal Republic (FARF) renounced the use of violence and will become a new political party called the Patriotic Front for Democracy. FARF, led by Laoukein Barde Frisson, was the one rebel group that did not rally to the 1994 peace agreement with the government. Amnesty was granted to the group's members and the government ensured legal recognition to the new party in exchange for disarming the rebels.
Jan 2, 1997 Polling began for Chad's parliamentary elections. A total of 658 candidates from 49 parties stood for the assembly. During the first and second (February) rounds of voting, opposition groups accused the government of manipulating the vote by handing out new voter cards on polling day and falsifying voter lists.
Jan 14, 1997 Fifty-six members of MDD returned to Chad as part of the reconciliation policy of the government. Interior Minister Mahamat Nimir Hamata was in Niger in October 1996 to sign a peace agreement with one faction of MDD. Another faction led by former president Hissein Habre signed a peace agreement with the government in December 1996.
Jan 18, 1997 Abas Ali, Speaker of the former Transitional National Assembly accused President Deby of using the army to intimidate voters in the January 5 parliamentary elections. He said his own constituency in Guera was one area plagued by irregularities. Deby's party, the Patriotic Salvation Movement denied the allegations. Turnout for the elections was 48% and the Moslem north voted mainly for the Patriotic Salvation Movement while the Christian south voted largely for opposition candidates.
Feb 25, 1997 Officials said a dozen militants of the Rally for Democracy and Progress party, including its leader Mahamat Saleh Younouss, were arrested for interfering in the second round of polling for parliamentary elections. The Patriotic Salvation Movement won 37 seats in the first round against 20 seats for other parties. Deby's party eventually gained 63 of the 125 seats
Mar 31, 1997 The government signed a peace deal with FARF (Armed Forces for the Federal Republic) the last southern rebel movement still fighting it. Its leader, Laokein Barde, had viewed Moise Kette's (CSNPD) peace agreement with the government in 1994 as a surrender, so he formed FARF. However, like Kette, he was eventually cut off from his rear bases in CAR and Cameroon and was forced into the peace agreement.
Apr 1997 Amnesty International released a report entitled Chad: Hope Betrayed which documents Chad's human rights abuses. AI confirmed that Chad continued to engage in extrajudicial executions, disappearances, torture, and harassment of human rights workers and opposition members. AI reported that 1996 and early 1997 showed a marked increased in human rights violations in Chad despite the moves the government has made towards becoming a multiparty democracy.
Apr 18, 1997 The government signed a peace accord with FARF a Moundou in Logone Occidental. It provided for the cessation of all hostile military activities, the renunciation of armed struggle by FARF and its transformation into a political movement.
May 3, 1997 President Deby signed a decree granting amnesty to all members of the FARF.
May 15, 1997 Exxon, Shell and Elf plan to spend some $3 billion on developing three oil fields in the Doba region of Chad. Doba is the traditional center of opposition in Chad, and it is likely that rural Chadians in the region will lose land to the 300 wells, pumping stations, and road building that is scheduled. The area is also the most fertile part of the country and produces most of Chad's food and export cotton. One idea under consideration is giving the local community a predetermined share of the oil revenues that will be generated.
May 16, 1997 Prime Minister Djimasta Koibla and his government resigned. The move followed the decision by General Kamougue of the Union for Renewal and Democracy to rally to the government in the name of national unity. The Union for Renewal and Democracy won 29 seats in the 1997 parliamentary elections while Deby's Patriotic Salvation Movement won 63 seats, an absolute majority.
May 17, 1997 Khartoum offered to serve as intermediary between the Chadian government and the rebel group National Resistance Alliance (ANR) of Lt. Col. Mahamat Garfa. Deby visited Khartoum in April where he met with ANR's representative Bachar Abdoulaye, the former mayor of Ndjamena. He also met with representatives of the National Front of Chad (FNT). Both groups' representatives told Deby they had no authority to conclude agreements with his government or to give him their support. Since the April meetings, Khartoum has been threatening to expel the groups' representatives to Ndjamena. Last year, Sudan handed over four ANR officers who had been arrested at a border town. The four were later assassinated in Chad. President Deby named Nassour Guelengdoussia Ouaido, a southerner, as Prime Minister following the resignation of Djimasta Koibla and his government. Ouaido had served as Minister of Education and Minister of Planning and Cooperation in previous governments.
Oct 1 - 3, 1997 A meeting between representatives of the government, FNT, FNT-renewed, and the Movement for Social Justice and Democracy was held in Ndjema. They agreed to the following: the rebel groups would receive a general amnesty provided they converted to legitimate political parties; the government pledged to reinstate all civil servants who had left their posts for political reasons; the government would undertake to organize the return of refugees with the support of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Oct 31, 1997 Clashes between FARF and government soldiers occurred. FARF complained the government was not keeping its end of the April peace deal to reintegrate FARF soldiers into the regular army. FARF has been dissatisfied with the government's initiatives since August. At least 100 people were killed in the fighting. Amnesty International reports that about 100 civilians were extrajudicially executed after the fighting began.
Jan 28, 1998 It was announced that work on the pipeline that is to connect the Doba oil basin in southern Chad with Kirbi in southern Cameroon will begin in April.
Feb 1 - Mar 31, 1998 Following military intervention into the areas of East and West Logone, there have been reports of massive human rights violations against civilians by government troops. People belonging to or suspected of belonging to FARF have been summarily executed. At least 43 people have died in this manner. Also, entire villages through which FARF has passed or is suspected of having passed, are subject to group punishment, including rape, theft and burning of property, by government troops. Villagers in the area have fled into the countryside or to urban centers such as Moundou.
Mar 7, 1998 General Abderkader Kamougue, Speaker of the National Assembly and leader of the Union for Renewal and Democracy, has been holding talks with Laokein Barde, leader of FARF, since January. FARF operates in Logone region which is also the stronghold of the URD party.
Mar 25, 1998 Arrest warrants were issued for Laokein Barde, FARF leader, and Dr. Nahore, leader of the Union of Democratic Froces. The UDF kidnapped four Frenchmen in February, and released them some weeks later.
May 4, 1998 Nigerian and Chadian troops clashed on Tetewa Island on Lake Chad. Numerous deaths were reported when Chadian troops angered the Nigerians by removing a Nigerian flag on the island. Calm was restored after the intervention of senior military officers on both sides.
May 22, 1998 FARF rebels which have been fighting the government since late October have surrendered to government forces. Hundreds of people, mostly civilians, have been killed in over six months of fighting. The conflict was the last episode of north-south fighting in Chad. France reportedly aided government troops in training in the south. There are also 1000 French soldiers and a French air squadron in Chad. FARF leader Barde reportedly fled the country. The agreement calls for the withdrawal of crack government troops from the south and for FARF to surrender and eventually be integrated into the regular army. Previous peace agreements with similar terms have not lasted above a few months. Christian southerners still advance the idea of a federal state in Chad.
Jun 22, 1998 Members of the European Parliament have demanded the release of a leading Chadian opposition member. Ndaledji Orongar was arrested for defamation after criticizing a joint Chad-Cameroon oil extraction project which he said threatened local communities in the south.

Search Refworld

Countries