Glossary of Terms


Armeé Nationale de Tchad (Chadian National Army)
Chadian armed forces under the direction of Chad’s Ministry of Defense.

Arab Militia

For the purposes of this report, an armed group comprised mainly of members of Arab ethnicity based in Chad and/or Sudan that is responsible for attacks against civilians inside Chad.

Chadian rebels

Chadian politico-military groups seeking to overthrow the Chadian government by force of arms. Many Chadian rebel groups are supported by the Sudanese government.  

Chef de canton

A senior member of the traditional leadership structure, recognized by the Chadian government as a local administrator in rural areas. A chef de village is avillage chief; chef de farik is the Arab equivalent. A chef de fraction is a subordinate authority in the traditional Arab hierarchy. Chef de tribe is the supreme leader of a given ethnic group (generally there is one chef de tribe per ethnic group per province, though many more may claim the title). Chef de guerre is the term used to describe a militia leader, typically used by victims in a sense that is more or less synonymous with warlord.


A temporary or semi-permanent Arab settlement.


For the purposes of this report, militia groups made up of Sudanese and Chadian Arabs, typically from nomadic or landless groups that were armed and organized by the Sudanese government beginning in 2003 to conduct counterinsurgency operations against Sudanese rebels in Darfur. Some Janjaweed militias have carried out cross-border attacks inside of Chad. Unidentified armed groups based in both Chad and Sudan who carry out attacks against civilians inside of Chad are often referred to as “Janjaweed” or as “Chadian Janjaweed.”


An armed group composed of civilians as opposed to professional soldiers.


In eastern Chad, one who migrates with cattle between grazing lands in the north during the rainy season and riparian areas in the south during the dry season.

Self-defense group

Village-based civilian militia. Some of the better organized self-defense forces include full-time, uniformed members armed with automatic weapons, though most consist of men and boys who arm themselves with primitive weapons during an attack. Some self-defense groups receive support or sponsorship from Sudanese rebel groups and are referred to as Tora Boro.


In eastern Chad, one who plants crops at a base point and migrates locally with animals, following forage.

Sudanese rebels

Sudanese politico-military groups fighting Sudanese government forces in Sudan. Some of these groups receive support from the Chadian government; also referred to as “Darfur rebels.”

Tora Boro

A term originally applied to Sudanese rebel groups by the Sudanese government and civilians in Darfur, who referred to the rebels as Tora Boro because they established bases in the hills.  

In eastern Chad, the term Tora Boro refers to both Sudanese rebel groups and Chadian self-defense groups that have received support, training or sponsorship from Sudanese rebels. These latter groups are also referred to as “Chadian Tora Boro.”