Chad: Improvements in security allow for the return of some IDPs
A group of displaced boys in Koloma IDP camp in eastern Chad, April 2009. (Photo: IDMC/Laura Perez)
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31 December 2012
Despite continued instability in the wider region, the situation in Chad remained relatively stable in 2012 with no new internal displacement taking place during the year. There were, however, still about 90,000 people living in protracted displacement in the east of the country as of the end of year. They were forced to flee their homes six years ago as a result of armed conflict between government forces and armed opposition groups, inter-communal violence and attacks by criminal groups known as coupeurs de route.
The government undertook various initiatives to secure its borders during 2012, including joint Chadian-Sudanese border patrols and a joint military operation with troops from the Central African Republic (CAR) against the Chadian armed group the Popular Front for Recovery (Front Populaire pour le Redressement or FPR) in northern CAR. Insecurity caused by inter-communal conflicts and fighting between cattle herders and farmers persisted, however, as did the activity of bandits.
The overall humanitarian situation in Chad was made worse by a severe food crisis in the Sahel belt and heavy flooding during the rainy season. Against this backdrop, the crisis in Libya and attacks by the Islamist group Boko Haram in Nigeria forced around 90,000 Chadian migrants, including many unaccompanied children, to return to the country.
An estimated 91,000 IDPs have returned to their homes, integrated locally or settled elsewhere in the country since 2008. In some cases return appears to have been a permanent move, while in others IDPs are reported to return home during the agricultural season but spend the rest of the year living in displacement camps. Others still move frequently between their camps and their villages of origin.
The government favours returns, but a significant number of IDPs have chosen to pursue local integration or settlement elsewhere in the country, which has contributed to the unexpected and unprepared for urbanisation of former villages in the regions of Sila and Assoungha. This in turn has placed considerable pressure on limited local infrastructure and has increased competition for access to land, both between and among host communities and IDPs.
The internally displaced population generally faces challenges in achieving durable solutions including unstable security situations in areas of origin, and limited access to land, basic services and livelihood opportunities.
Both remaining and returning IDPs were in need of assistance during 2012 in terms of access to land, adequate housing, property and documentation. In the camps as well as in return areas, domestic and sexual violence including rape, female genital mutilation and early and forced marriages have been reported.
Children make up two-thirds of the current total number of IDPs, and they have specific protection needs - particularly those who have been separated from their families and who are at risk of dropping out of school, neglect, exploitation and malnutrition. Despite the government’s signing in 2011 of an action plan to stop child recruitment by the armed forces and non-state armed groups, the practice continues and children - particularly those internally displaced - are still at risk.
The government has made efforts to support IDPs, especially in their search for durable solutions. It developed a recovery programme for eastern Chad in 2010, and has distributed land plots to some IDPs who chose to resettle in Assoungha. Limited capacity and funding, however, mean political commitments are not always matched by action on the ground.
Chad has ratified the Kampala Convention, but as of the end of 2012 the government had still not enacted a national policy or legislation to protect IDPs. Chad is also party to several international human rights instruments, including on women and children’s rights, but national legislation still needs to be brought into line with the country’s international obligations.
Seven clusters were still active in Chad in 2012. The protection cluster focused mainly on supporting IDPs in their search for durable solutions. It assisted in planning for return, resettlement and local integration, and raised awareness among IDPs of the three options available to them. The cluster was, however, extremely short of funding. Only five per cent of its budget had been funded by the end of the year, and as such it was unable to support the government in the development of national legislation on IDPs.
The 2012 CAP humanitarian appeal for Chad was 67 per cent funded, reflecting gaps in support across all sectors except food assistance.
1 July 2011: Prospects of greater security for internally displaced children and adults
On 14 June, the Government of Chad signed an action plan to end the use of children by the country’s security forces. The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict praised Chad’s commitment to ending one of the grave violations
being committed against children in the country, including internally displaced children, but warned that the bulk of the work of protecting children lies ahead. An Amnesty International report found that the failure or lack of demobilisation programmes for children associated with armed groups and forces leaves them vulnerable to re-recruitment
even after they return home, and that the lack of schools or jobs fails to offer alternative opportunities.
Meanwhile, improvements in security stand to have a positive impact on displaced communities in eastern Chad, some of whom have begun a process of voluntary return
to their villages of origin. In mid-June, soon after the governments of CAR, Chad and Sudan agreed
to establish joint forces to combat cross-border criminal activities, the rebel Chadian Popular Front for Reconstruction (FPR) signed a peace agreement
with the government. The FDR had set up their base in the Central African Republic (CAR) three years ago, where they were accused of robbery and held responsible for causing internal displacement of the local population.
As of June 2011, there were 131,000 IDPs living in 38 IDP camps in eastern Chad. The majority of them had limited access to livelihoods and continued to rely on protection and assistance from international humanitarian organisations. No new internal displacements were reported in 2010 or in the first five months of 2011.
After the withdrawal of UN peacekeeping troops in December 2010, the Chadian government took responsibility for the protection of civilians in conflict-affected areas. It normalised relations with the government of Sudan and established with Sudan a joint military force to patrol and monitor their shared border. The joint border force has been credited with improving security in some areas. (...)
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22 June 2011
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Internal Displacement Profile
"Résumé du Profil en Français","Résumé du Profil en Français"
"Causes and Background","Background","Causes of displacement","Overview of displaced populations"
"IDP Population Figures","Number of IDPs","disaggregated by age and sex where data are available","Location of IDP populations"
"IDP Population Movements and Patterns","Population movements","Patterns of movement"
"Physical Security and Integrity","Physical security","dignity","mental and moral integrity","Liberty and freedom of movement"
"Basic Necessities of Life","Food and water","Shelter and housing","Medical care and sanitation"
"Property, Livelihoods, Education and Other Economic, Social and Cultural Rights","Land and Property","Primary education and educational programmes"
"Protection of Special Categories of IDPs (Age, Gender, Diversity)","Gender - Women and Men","Boys","girls and adolescents"
"Durable Solutions (Return, Local Integration, Settlement Elsewhere in the Country)","Documented returns","settled locally and settled elsewhere","Prospects for and obstacles to voluntary return","local settlement and settlement elsewhere","Support for return integration and reintegration"
"National and International Response","International human rights and humanitarian law framework including references to the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement","National response","Humanitarian access and assistance","International response","Recommendations by international human rights bodies"
Previous Profile updates
- Key Documents
- Consolidated Appeal for Chad 2012, UN OCHA, 7 December 2011
- Report of the UN Secretary-General on the protection of civilians in Chad, UN SC, 29 April 2011
- 2010 Chad Country Report on Human Rights Practices, U.S. DOS, 8 April 2011
- Report of the UN Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Chad, UN SC, 9 February 2011
- Protection Monitoring in Areas of Return, Intersos, 30 September 2010
- Security Council Resolution 1923, UN SC, 25 May 2010
- IASC Cluster Approach Evaluation - Chad, GPPI, April 2010
- Enquête sur la Situation Socio-économique et Alimentaire des Personnes Déplacées, Retournées et la Population hôte à l’Est du Tchad, WFP, November 2009
- Protecting the rights of IDPs is the responsibility of the Chadian government, Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Mr. Walter Kaelin, 11 February 2009
- Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Paper 2008-2011, IMF, April 2008
- National outrage: Violence against internally displaced women and girls in eastern Chad (November 2010)
( En | Fr )
- Internally displaced in Chad: Trapped between civil conflict and Sudan's Darfur crisis (July 2007)
( En | Fr )