Skip to main content


Events of 2022

Anti-government demonstrators set a barricade on fire during clashes in N'Djamena, Chad, October 20, 2022.

© 2022 AP Photo

April 2022 marked one year since Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno seized power and declared himself head of the Transitional Military Council (Conseil militaire de transition, CMT) following the sudden death of his father Idriss Déby Itno, president since 1990. Security forces used excessive force, including live ammunition and tear gas, to disperse opposition-led demonstrations across the country, and arbitrarily arrested demonstrators, many of whom reported torture and other ill-treatment in detention.

Free, fair, and credible elections by October 2022, as promised by Mahamat Déby, did not happen and were postponed.

On August 8, the transitional military council and more than 40 rebel groups signed a peace accord in Doha, Qatar, to end a decades long conflict and initiate a broader national dialogue. The accord was welcomed by the United Nations and the African Union Commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat. However, nine armed factions, including the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (Front pour l'alternance et la concorde au Tchad - FACT), the Libya-based group whose fighting led to the death of the former president in April 2021, rejected the deal, saying it did not consider their demands.

On August 20, the national dialogue—a series of talks to be attended by all segments of Chadian society and aimed at defining a timeline and rules for presidential elections— opened in the capital, N’Djamena. Some members and supporters of opposition parties and civil society organizations have refused to participate in the dialogue, deeming it “not inclusive.”

On October 1, the national dialogue adopted a measure to extend the transition for a maximum of 24 months and delegates decided that Mahamat Déby would remain as interim head of state, despite warnings from international partners that transitional authorities should not monopolize power. The forum further allowed him to run for president when elections are held.

On October 20, security forces fired on protesters in several cities across the country killing at least 50 people and injuring dozens of others. The protests, which were banned the previous day, marked the date the military administration had initially promised to hand over power to a civilian government.

Crackdown on Political Opposition, Dissent

The military junta harassed, intimidated, and occasionally prosecuted opposition political parties and supporters. Security forces continued to enjoy widespread impunity for the excessive use of force against demonstrators.

Security forces killed at least 13 people—including a 12-year-old child—and injured over 80 people in Abéché, Ouaddaï province on January 24 and 25. Security forces violently dispersed a demonstration there against plans to appoint a new traditional chief from the ethnic Bani Halba community, killing three protestors. The following day, security forces opened fire at the funeral for those killed, killing an additional 10 people and injuring at least 40 others.

In May, Chadian authorities arrested six members and supporters of Wakit Tamma, a coalition of Chadian opposition parties and civil society organizations, for participating in a May 14 demonstration and charged them with “disturbing the public order, harm to property, and physical assault.” In the days following the arrests, the Chadian bar association announced a strike in protest of the politically motivated charges.

Wakit Tamma led demonstrations across the country the week of May 14 denouncing France’s military presence in Chad and its perceived support for the military junta. Three months later, authorities barred Wakit Tamma outright from protesting ahead of the opening of the National Inclusive Dialogue.

Political repression continued to escalate after the official launch of the national dialogue.

Security forces used excessive force, including tear gas, in N’Djamena on September 2, 3, and 9, injuring scores of protesters and arresting over 220 people, mostly members and supporters of the opposition party The Transformers (Les Transformateurs), several of whom reported being held in detention in inhuman conditions, including lack of space, hygiene, ventilation, and light. On September 3, security forces also beat four Chadian journalists, including Aristide Djimalde, a 25-year-old female reporter working for Chadian media Alwihda Info, and arrested three of them for covering the security forces’ crackdown on opposition.

In the aftermath of the October 20 protests, officers from the army, gendarmes, and police beat and arrested hundreds of people, many apparently arbitrarily. Following the crackdown, the Prime Minister announced that government would create a “judicial commission” to establish responsibility for the abuses. On October 21, the justice minister ordered several courts across the country to open cases on the protests and the security forces response.

Abuses by Armed Groups

The Islamist armed groups Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) continued to carry out unlawful attacks against civilians as well as against security forces in the Lake Chad area.

In the Sahel, Chad has been providing substantial military contributions to regional counterterrorism operations for years. Operation Barkhane, the French-led counterinsurgency operation against armed Islamist groups in the Sahel, is headquartered in N’Djamena, and the country currently contributes the third-highest number of troops to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

Chad is a member of the G5 Sahel, a joint force for fighting terror in the region which also comprises Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger, and until recently, Mali.

International and National Justice

Former Chadian President Hissène Habré died of Covid-19 on August 24, 2021, while serving a life sentence. Habré was convicted of crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture on May 30, 2016, by an African Union-backed court in Dakar, Senegal. He was also convicted of sexual crimes, including rape and the sexual slavery of women to serve his soldiers.

On September 19, the Chadian government announced it had released 10 billion FCFA (USD $14.8 million) to compensate victims and survivors of Habré era abuses, many of whom have been waiting since the 2016 conviction to receive their court-ordered compensation.

On December 24, the transitional government granted amnesty to nearly 300 rebels and political dissidents who had been convicted of grave offenses including recruiting child soldiers.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Article 354 of the 2017 Penal Code prohibits “sexual relations with a person of one’s own sex.” Under the code, individuals convicted of same-sex relations face up to two years’ imprisonment and a fine between 50,000 à 500,000 CFA francs (roughly US$75-750).

Women’s Rights

In July, the Chadian government banned young girls from leaving the country without parental permission allegedly in response to concerns over “a migratory flow of young girls” leaving for the “purpose of exploitation.” Chad has the highest rate of child marriage in the world, with 70 percent of girls being married before the age of 18. In August, an Islamic High Court in the northeastern region of Mangalmé ruled that people who refuse a marriage proposal must pay a fine known as “amchilini”. Women’s rights groups have denounced the “amchilini” fine and the ban on young girls from leaving the country, noting that it is discriminatory and violates girls’ right to freedom of movement.   

Social and Economic Rights

According to the World Food Programme, Chad has one of the highest levels of hunger in the world and an estimated 42 percent of the population live in poverty. For decades, the country has underinvested in social protection while climate change and desertification have negatively impacted agricultural yields.

In June, Mahamat Déby declared a national food emergency as international grain prices dramatically increased following the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of people estimated to be experiencing acute food insecurity in the country increased by nearly 70 percent. Between June and September, during the year’s lean season, 2.1 million people were estimated to require humanitarian food assistance.