Chad: Platform for Change, Unity and Democracy (Socle pour le Changement, l'Unité et la Démocratie, SCUD); how, why and when it was started; the group's founders; whether any of the founders have been to Canada; rebel activities and major events in which the group has been involved (2005 - March 2009)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa|
|Publication Date||26 March 2009|
|Citation / Document Symbol||TCD103080.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Chad: Platform for Change, Unity and Democracy (Socle pour le Changement, l'Unité et la Démocratie, SCUD); how, why and when it was started; the group's founders; whether any of the founders have been to Canada; rebel activities and major events in which the group has been involved (2005 - March 2009), 26 March 2009, TCD103080.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b20f02a28.html [accessed 30 January 2015]|
According to a Writenet report, written by Roy May and Simon Massey, "Chad's propensity to factionalism and expedient alliances makes tracking the armed opposition to the regime effectively conjectural," since "[i]ndividual groups are liable to disband, splinter, change name, ally or even rally to the regime overnight" (May and Massey Mar. 2007, 10). As follows, sources consulted by the Research Directorate provide corroborating as well as contrasting information regarding the founders and activities of the Platform for Change, Unity and Democracy (Socle pour le changement, l'unité et la démocratie, SCUD).
According to an article from the United Nations (UN) Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), in October 2005, deserters of the Chadian army fled to eastern Chad and formed SCUD (4 Jan. 2006; see also AFP 28 Apr. 2006). A 12 December 2005 IRIN article states that President Idriss Déby alleges that some of the same deserters that formed SCUD "were involved in a plot to topple him in May 2004." Several sources identify Yaya Dillo Djerou as SCUD's leader (UN 21 Mar. 2006; UN 10 Feb. 2006; UN 12 Dec. 2005). An October 2005 IRIN article indicates that the government's efforts to initiate talks with the deserters failed and that SCUD leader Djerou called for the release of political prisoners before talks could take place (UN 25 Oct. 2005). The article includes contrasting SCUD membership numbers, citing the government as saying that the rebels numbered several dozen men, while Djerou claimed that SCUD had more than 600 men with armoured vehicles (UN 25 Oct. 2005; see also AFP 28 Apr. 2006). According to a 12 December 2005 IRIN article, Djerou said SCUD's "concerns are with broader government policy." In a 10 February 2006 article, IRIN indicates that a coalition of armed groups, which included SCUD, formed an alliance in order to "'free Chad of the dictatorship of Idriss Deby'."
Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that
[a]t the outset of the rebellion the two strongest rebel groups were the Front Uni pour le Changement (United Front for Change, FUC), made up primarily of ethnic Tama fighters, and ... SCUD and its offshoot the Rassemblement des Forces Démocratiques (Rally of Democratic Forces, RaFD), both made up of mostly Zaghawa deserters from the Chadian government and armed forces, including Bideyat Zaghawa subclan leaders and members of Déby's immediate family. (July 2007, 11)
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) similarly reports that SCUD is mostly composed of ethnic Zaghawas who have left the Chadian army (20 Apr. 2007). The BBC article indicates that SCUD is part of the RAFD coalition that is also said to include the rebel group Chadian National Concord (Concorde nationale tchadienne, CNT) (20 Apr. 2007).
According to HRW, the RAFD is made up of SCUD, a second group led by former army commander Séby Aguid and a third group led by former commander of the Presidential Guard Ramadane Bokhit (Jan. 2007, 68). The names of the second and third groups are not included in the HRW report. In December 2005, IRIN reported that key government officials, including President Déby's nephews Tom and Timan Erdimi, and several officers deserted their posts and joined rebel forces (UN 12 Dec. 2005; see also AFP 28 Apr. 2006). The Writenet report indicates that Tom and Timan Erdimi are the "driving forces" of the RAFD coalition (Mar. 2007, 10). In a report written for the Small Arms Survey, Jérôme Tubiana, who holds a PhD in African Studies and has conducted numerous research missions in northern and eastern Chad (Apr. 2008, 7), corroborates the information that Tom and Timan Erdimi are the leaders of the RAFD, but states that they are the cousins of President Déby rather than his nephews (Small Arms Survey Apr. 2008, 42).
In March 2006, an attempt to shoot down President Déby's plane was thwarted (UN 15 Mar. 2006; AFP 28 Apr. 2006). The government issued international arrest warrants to "instigators" of the coup attempt, including Tom and Timan Erdimi (UN 15 Mar. 2006; May and Massey Mar. 2007, 11). The Writenet report indicates that the RAFD was responsible for the attempted coup (ibid.). A 21 March 2006 IRIN article reports that following the coup attempt, the government attacked rebels in eastern Chad.
In December 2006, the FUC signed a peace agreement with the government (HRW July 2007, 13; AI 2008) and shortly after were deployed to the Chad-Sudan border in order to confront SCUD and the RAFD (HRW July 2007, 13). The HRW report further indicates that SCUD was responsible for January 2007 attacks against FUC and the Chadian National Army (Armée Nationale Tchadienne, ANT), which reportedly "inflicted appalling casualties" (July 2007, 15).
Amnesty International (AI) reports that four armed groups, including the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development (l'Union des forces pour la démocratie et le développement, UFDD), the RAFD and the CNT, signed a peace agreement with the government on 4 October 2007 that was not fully implemented because of disagreements regarding its details (2008). In contrast, in an October 2007 article, Agence France-Presse (AFP) lists the UFDD, the UFDD – Fundamental (l'UFDD-Fondamentale, UFDD-F), the Rally of Forces for Change (le Rassemblement des forces pour le changement, RFC) and the CNT as the four rebel groups that signed the peace treaty (25 Oct. 2007). A 23 January 2009 AFP article indicates that Timan Erdimi was the leader of the RFC. According to AI, by November 2007, fighting between the national army and some of the armed groups involved in the peace settlement had resumed (2008).
A January 2009 AFP article indicates that Timan Erdimi was elected the leader of the Union of Resistance Forces (l'Union des forces de la résistance, UFR), which is a coalition of eight rebel groups (23 Jan. 2009; UN Mar. 2009). According to the UN Security Council, the coalition's goal is to oust President Déby (Mar. 2009). The Security Council report also indicates that the government of Chad believes Sudan is supporting the UFR and that Chad-Sudan relations have "deteriorated" due to "a proxy war on both sides" (UN Mar. 2009).
Information on whether any of the founders of SCUD or the RAFD have been to Canada could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Agence France-Presse (AFP). 23 January 2009. "Tchad: Timan Erdimi, élu président de l'ensemble de la rébellion." (Factiva)
_____. 25 October 2007. "Chad President, Rebels Sign Peace Deal." (Factiva)
_____. 28 April 2006. "Les troubles au Tchad depuis octobre 2005 (Chronologie, Dossier)." (Factiva)
Amnesty International (AI). 2008. "Chad." Amnesty International Report 2008.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). 20 April 2007. "Profiles of Chadian Rebel Groups." (Factiva)
Human Rights Watch (HRW). July 2007. Early to War: Child Soldiers in the Chad Conflict.
_____. January 2007. 'They Came Here to Kill Us:' Militia Attacks and Ethnic Targeting of Civilians in Eastern Chad.
May, Roy and Simon Massey. March 2007. Writenet. Chad: Politics and Security.
Small Arms Survey. April 2008. Jérôme Tubiana. The Chad-Sudan Proxy War and the 'Darfurization' of Chad: Myths and Realities.
United Nations (UN). March 2009. Security Council. "Chad / CAR."
_____. 21 March 2006. Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). "Chad: Government Troops Clash with Rebels in East."
_____. 15 March 2006. Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). "Chad: Coup Attempt Foiled, Government Says."
_____. 10 February 2006. Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). "Chad: with Insecurity Mounting in the East, are Déby's Days Numbered?"
_____. 4 January 2006. Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). "Chad: President Déby Seeks Regional Support amid Tensions with Sudan."
_____. 12 December 2005. Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). "Chad: Top Brass Defectors Protest Déby Rule."
_____. 25 October 2005. Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). "Chad: Aid Workers Return to Camps Despite Breakdown in Talks with Deserters."
Additional Sources Consulted
Internet sites, including: Africa Confidential, Africa Research Bulletin, African Press Agency (APA), AllAfrica, Chad News, Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Europa World, European Country of Origin Information Network (ecoi.net), Global Insight, International Crisis Group, Jeune Afrique, One World Africa, Oxfam International, Tchad Actuel, United Nations (UN) Relief Web, United States (US) Department of State.