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Republic of Chad and the Central African Republic


Situated in the heart of Africa, the Republic of Chad gained its independence from France in 1960. The weak new state, with French power often in the background, has long been torn by rebellions and civil wars. Libya, the northern neighbor, intervened and backed local groups, beginning in the late 1960s. Libya's allies eventually overthrew the French-backed government in 1979. The northern rebels fought for power among themselves. But it was the southern based pro-French Hissène Habré that took power in 1987, driving out the Libyans. In 1990 Habré was overthrown by General Idriss Déby, who has ruled since. Chad has small but valuable oil resources, first exploited by an Exxon-led consortium in the 1990s. The World Bank funded a pipeline to bring the oil to market. But little of the oil revenues has reached the general population. World Bank plans for "social spending" have been ignored by the government. Chad remains poor, corrupt and wracked by chronic instability.

Bordering Chad to the south is the Central African Republic (CAR), another ex-French colony that gained independence in 1960. For more than three decades it was ruled by corrupt and authoritarian rulers backed by Paris. During one period, a comical dictator declared the country to be the "Central African Empire." The country's first democratic elections finally took place under UN pressure in 1993, with UN electoral assistance. The elected president Ange-Félix Patassé was eventually overthrown by French-backed General François Bozizé in 2003. Bozizé then won an election in 2005 and remains in power. CAR remains one of the world's poorest and most backward countries.

Besides their own social and political problems, both countries also are affected by the crisis in neighboring Sudan's Darfur province. Chad and CAR suffer a spillover of violence, displaced people, refugees and rebel groups along their eastern borders. Some think that these conflicts are worsened by climate change desertification and by outside intervention over oil and gas resources.

UN Documents | Reports | Articles

UN Documents


Security Council Resolution 1834 (2008) (September 24, 2008)

The Security Council extends the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) until March 15, 2009. The Council also intends to authorize the deployment of a UN military component to follow up the European Union mission in Chad and CAR (EUFOR) and requests the Secretary General to create a plan to transfer power from the EU to the UN.

Report of the Secretary General on the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (July 8, 2008)

The Sirte Accord, a 2007 peace agreement between the Chadian government and the country's main opposition groups, continues to falter. The agreement mandated a ceasefire and suggested that rebel groups participate in state affairs, but these demands remain unresolved. In his report, the Secretary General argues that such measures would strengthen the security forces in Chad, allowing the country to protect its borders and detract rebel groups from engaging in proxy wars across the Sudanese and the Central African Republic borders.

Report of the Secretary General on the Situation in the Central African Republic and on the Activities of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (June 23, 2008)

In this report to the Security Council on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), Secretary General Ban Ki-moon states that the political and security situation in the country continues to deteriorate. The Government of CAR and the Armee Populaire Pour la Restauration de la Democratie (APRD) signed a peace agreement, but violent clashes continue. The report states that both government and rebel forces commit human rights violations against civilians, and that the impunity of these acts furthers violence and insecurity in CAR.

UN Security Council Resolution 1778 (September 25, 2007)

The Security Council unanimously approved a "multidimensional presence" combining UN and EU troops in eastern Chad and the north-eastern Central African Republic. With an initial duration of one year, the MINURCAT troops will help both countries battle their humanitarian and security crisis. (Security Council Report)

Report of the Secretary General on Chad and the Central African Republic (August 10, 2007)

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reported to the Security Council about the border crisis between Sudan, Chad and CAR. Ban believes in the necessity of a multidimensional UN force in Chad, to help bring security and protection to the civilians, especially refugees. But Chadian president Idriss Deby has concerns over the military aspects of the UN mission. Ban Ki-moon suggested that the Council send a peacekeeping delegation to Chad and CAR to survey the options.



Profits from the diamond mines in the CAR have never reached the vast majority of the population, but things have become worse in recent years under the government of President Francois Bozize. The Bozize regime maintains strict control over the diamond industry, imposing high taxes on exports to line its own pockets. This encourages a black market for diamonds, which allows rebel groups to fund their activities and recruit impoverished workers. This International Crisis Group report analyzes the problem in the CAR and provides a series of recommendations for the CAR government and oversight groups. (International Crisis Group)

The Chad-Sudan Proxy War and the "Darfurization" of Chad: Myths and Reality (April 2008)

This report by Small Arms Survey notes that France uses an EU multilateral force (EUFOR) to protect its preferred ruler in Chad, Idriss Deby. The French justify the existence of the force by claiming EUFOR provides humanitarian relief to refugees affected by the conflict in Darfur. However, the author, Jerome Tubiana argues that France's involvement in the force undermines the legitimacy of the UN, and places humanitarian workers at risk of attack. Rather than a military intervention in the conflict, Tubiana suggests that the UN establish peace talks between opposition groups in Chad and the government, as well as between Chad and Sudan.



Picture Credit: Integrated Regional Information Networks
Picture Credit:
Integrated Regional Information Networks


Looking for Answers After CAR Coup d'Etat (March 25, 2013)

The President of Central Africa Republic (CAR) has fled the country after being ousted by armed groups. The Séléka rebels of CAR have taken control of the capital, and issued a statement claiming that they will hold elections early next year. Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon has condemned the coup, and the African Union has suspended CAR’s membership. One of the rebel leaders, Michel Djotodia, has declared himself interim president, but not all Séléka factions endorse that claim. The Séléka argue that their demands under the January peace deal with the government have been ignored. According to the NGO Conciliation Resources in CAR and many other observers, political turmoil was inevitable because the recent peace deal was drafted by an Economic Community of Central African States commission - not by the warring parties. Despite CAR’s history of power sharing agreements and political dialogue, four coups have been launched between 1996 and 2003. (Al Jazeera)


Empty Rhetoric on Africa Peacekeeping (May 13, 2010)

Western countries that have pledged to support peacekeeping in Africa are reducing commitments in Chad. Their involvement in Afghanistan indicates that they do not lack capacity but are rather preoccupied with the political benefits reaped from cooperation with the United States. Barack Obama should at least pressure his allies to support peacekeeping if he is not willing to donate US personnel to this cause. (The Guardian)

Renew MINURCAT Mandate or Set Worrying Precedent (April 30, 2010)

Chad's request that the Security Council not renew the mandate of the peacekeeping mission in Chad (MINURCAT) is contrary to the state's obligation to protect its population. Amnesty International has warned that if the Security Council does not renew the MINURCAT mandate, vulnerable populations will be exposed to human rights abuses and humanitarian organizations will be unable to operate safely. The withdrawal of MINURCAT in accordance with Chad's request would set a dangerous precedent for the Security Council, which is also considering Kinshasa's request that the Council withdraw peacekeepers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Amnesty International)

Chad's Peacekeeping Force has not been a Failure (February 10, 2010)

The UN MINURCAT Chief, Martin Nesirsky, has countered claims by Chad's President , Idriss Deby, that the peacekeeping force has been a failure. Nesirsky asserts the MINURCAT provides the necessary deterrent to ensure that humanitarian workers could perform their life-saving tasks. The peacekeeping force's mandate ends in mid-March and Deby has asked for it not to be renewed, a request that worries humanitarian groups in the country. (Reuters)


A Humanitarian Disaster in the Making along the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline (December 2, 2009)

The World-Bank financed Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline operated by Exxon is leaving a trail of poverty and conflict in its wake. Chadian President Idriss Déby has been using oil revenues to prolong his rule and wage a deadly war in the North and East of the country. Meanwhile, people in the oil producing zone have been either displaced with no compensation or forced to live precariously close to polluting oil wells. Because Chad's oil reserves are located meters away from its most fertile agricultural land, the pipeline is also responsible for the decline of the country's agricultural production. (AlterNet)

Chad: The Oil Effect (September 21, 2009)

The United Nations Development Index ranks Chad the fifth poorest country in the world: 80% of its citizens live below the poverty line. Yet Chad's oil reserves amount to 1 billion barrels. Chad's rich resource potential has not gone unnoticed - in 2000 the World Bank began supporting the development of Chad's oil industry - building pipelines and developing transport infrastructure and technology. Nine years later, despite increased revenue, the country remains unable to feed its people. This article suggests that for Chad, under a corrupt and unjust government, oil had been a curse, and not a blessing. Chadians need a structure free from corruption in order to benefit from the oil revenue. (openDemocracy)

Europeans Transfer Chad Mission to UN (March 16, 2009)

The UN peacekeeping mission, MINURCAT, will take over from the European Security and Defense Policy force, which is stationed in Chad with 3,300 troops. MINURCAT's mandate was extended until March 2010 and consists of 5,200 troops. 2,000 European troops will remain in Chad until the end of 2009 to insure stability during the transition. The author notes that the EU Mission was established faster than a UN mission, due a lack of available UN peacekeepers. (New York Times)

Mapping Conflict Motives: Central African Republic (February 17, 2009)

Conflicts on the African continent have often been interrelated. Although conflicts in the neighboring countries are seen as more severe, the Central African Republic (CAR) has suffered from large spillover effects from Chad, Sudan and Congo. The internal conflict in the CAR between two rebels groups and the national army is further complicated by external armed rebel groups such as the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army that operates in the North of the CAR. (Human Security Report Project)

Central Africa: Security Council Approves 5,500 UN Peacekeepers for Chad, Central African Republic (January 14, 2009)

The Security Council unanimously approved the deployment of 5,500 UN peacekeepers to Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR) replacing the European force EUFOR. The United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) will station its troops in eastern Chad and northern CAR. The mission is in charge of protecting the refugee spillover from the conflict in Darfur, securing their return and facilitating humanitarian aid. (allAfrica)


Chad: Strengthen UN Mission for Lasting Security (July 24, 2008)

Rebel groups continue to attack civilians and humanitarian workers in eastern Chad, despite the presence of a UN policing mission (MINURCAT). This Refugees International article urges the Security Council to restructure MINURCAT from a policing mission to a UN military force. The authors also recommend that MINURCAT's mandate include a political task force to engage Chad, Sudan, and rebel groups on both sides in peace negotiations. With these changes, MINURCAT would be able to pursue a lasting peace while also ensuring the security of civilians and aid workers.

Can the UN Fix Darfur without Fixing Chad? (June 24, 2008)

This Tehran Times article argues that UN officials who are trying to solve the conflict in Darfur must cooperate with international peacekeeping efforts to normalize relations between Chad and Sudan. The UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) cannot keep the peace in the region while relations between Sudan and Chad are strained. The article urges coordination between UNAMID, EU peacekeepers in Chad and the UN mission in the Central African Republic and Chad to enforce the border and end the conflict between both nations. (Tehran Times)

Central African Republic: France's Long Hand (May 29, 2008)

Although France's colonization of the Central African Republic officially ended in 1960, the country still has a significant influence in the CAR. France had a major influence over who became leaders of the CAR and still has troops in the African country. This allAfrica article argues that the former colonial power wants to retain control over CAR to exploit the country's natural resources and to use its land to train French forces.

"Supporting a Dictator in Chad" (March 31, 2008)

According to Inter Press Service, members of the UN Security Council have approved an EU peacekeeping mission to Chad (EUFOR) that reinforces French interests rather than providing neutral humanitarian protection. EUFOR, which is comprised largely of French troops, compliments an existing French mission in Chad (Epervier) that provides military assistance to Paris' preferred ruler Idriss Deby. The author states that by supporting Deby, France has allowed the ruler to perpetrate human rights violations, including the arrest and detention of opposition leaders.

The Chad Conflict, United Nations (MINURCAT) and the European Union (EUFOR) (March 10, 2008)

Unequal distribution of oil revenues as well as a lack of democratic reform by President Idriss Deby leads to armed opposition against the Chadian government says Real Instituto Elcano. In response to this opposition, multinational oil corporations Chevron and Petronas provide the Chadian government with funding to buy military weapons. The author recommends that rather than a military solution, the UN should persuade Idriss Deby to open power-sharing talks with opposition groups, and share oil resources equally.

Chad: Between Sudan's Blitzkrieg and Darfur's War (February 19, 2008)

In this article, Gérard Prunier dissects the inter-connected conflicts in Chad and Darfur. Prunier argues that both rebel groups and government officials have a vested interest in protracting the conflict and destabilizing the region, motivated by oil and land resources. Within this context France presses for a multilateral force for Chad at the Security Council "to protect its own interests in the region and support its preferred Chadian ruler Idriss Deby." (openDemocracy)

Thousands Flee Fighting in Chad (February 4, 2008)

Thousands of people are fleeing Chad's capital N'Djamena into neighboring Cameroon following fierce fighting between government and rebel troops. The UN Security Council has asked member states to assist the government of Chad, thus allowing French intervention to back President Idriss Deby's forces. Chad accuses Sudan of backing the offensive in order to prevent an EU force being sent to the region, which could "open a window" into Darfur.

EU Targets Eastern Chad Security within One Year (January 29, 2008)

A hybrid UN-EU peacekeeping force will be deployed within Chad and the Central African Republic by early February. France, a former colonial power, is expected to make up more than half of the UN mandated force, which will attempt to insulate the region from violence in neighboring Sudan. (Reuters)


Ban Ki-moon Urges Credible Dialogue to Resolve Crisis in Central African Republic (December 5, 2007)

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon shows concern about the widespread poverty, continuing insecurity, political instability, impunity and human rights violations in the Central African Republic (CAR). He requests that the parties work together to stop the violence and improve the political crisis, with United Nations support. Ban congratulated the work of the Security Council in implementing a multidimensional force in cooperation with the EU and the African Union. But, he affirms that responsibility falls on the country's government and its people. (UN News)

First Officers from UN Specialized Police Unit Deploy for Chad to Start Key Training Role (November 21, 2007)

The UN in cooperation with the African Union and the EU started training a specialized Chadian police unit, to provide safety to those affected by the regional conflicts. Officials from the UN Standing Police Capacity (SPC) and the UN Police (UNPOL) will arrive to support the UN peacekeeping mission in Chad and CAR (MINURCAT). The new Chadian police will also assist the UN-AU hybrid force in Darfur to stabilize the whole region. (UN News)

Chad's Army, Rebels Claim Bloody Battle (November 26, 2007)

Chad's army and the rebel group Forces for Development and Democracy (FDD) resumed fighting after having signed a peace agreement a couple weeks before. The FDD and civilians disagree with Idriss Deby'ss government, as it profits from the country's high oil prices. The rebels also criticize the EU force in the country, as they believe it only strengthens Deby's regime. (Associated Press)

State of Emergency Imposed Even As Peace Talks Conclude (October 16, 2007)

Eastern Chad seems caught between three interconnected conflicts: the effects of neighboring Darfur, the tensions between the government and rebel groups, and disputes among local eastern communities. Although the Chadian government and opposing rebels are attempting to negotiate a peace treaty, the fighting in the region continues. Rebel leader, Mahamat Nouri, and government spokesman, Hourmadji Moussa Doumgor, announced that the pending treaty will only bring “partial peace,� and will not substitute for the UN peacekeeping presence in the region. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

UN: Security Council's Troop Plan in Chad/CAR Risks Failing Many (September 27, 2007)

Human Rights Watch calls UN attention to the unprotected people living in Chad and Central African Republic. The deployment of the UN peacekeeping troops (MINURCAT), focus mainly on refugee camps and large internally displaced people sites, without considering the suffering of civilians from violence in their home communities. The EU peacekeeping force and MINURCAT should also work with local governments to stop abuse against civilians.

Chad's Tragedy (September 7, 2007)

Chad's situation is similar to Darfur. These oil-rich countries both suffer from corrupt politics, rebel insurgencies and intense international interest. Oil production in Chad started in 2003 under a consortium of transnational companies including Exxon, Shell and Chevron, with the support of the World Bank. This partnership was supposed to construct a pipeline to the Atlantic Ocean and invest part of the income in a fund for social and educational purposes. Instead, corruption and external interventions have caused a humanitarian crisis in Chad. (openDemocracy)

EU Prepares for Hard-Core Chad Mission (July 26, 2007)

The EU planned to send peacekeeping troops to Chad's border with Sudan, where more than 20,000 displaced people are encamped. This EU operation would protect Chad civilians and help the UN troops contain the crisis in neighboring Sudan. But, the extensive EU mission faces complications such as the authorization of military force and whether France should contribute with troops. If plans go awry, the force could potentially cause more instability in the region. (International Relations and Security Network)


CAR: Tens of Thousands of Villagers on the Run (December 19, 2006)

The Central African Republic has two major rebel movements splitting the country in two zones, the northeast and the populated north-central area. In addition, the country also has border disputes with Cameroon, Sudan and Chad. CAR's corrupt and fragile government, combined with regional conflicts has created a dynamic humanitarian crisis that has displaced more than 220,000 people. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Vulnerable Central African Republic Being Drawn in to Neighbor's Conflicts (December 10, 2006)

Despite the fair and free elections in 2005, the Central African Republic has never known stability, and corruption still lingers. People are living in terrible conditions and this small country is being engulfed by the conflicts in neighboring Chad and Sudan. The United Nations considers the region as the "world's gravest humanitarian crisis." Lamine Cisse, top UN official in CAR, said that the conflicts in Sudan, Chad and CAR are all linked and can only be solved together. (International Herald Tribune)


Central African Republic: Annan Warns Over "Explosive" Situation (January 16, 2001)

Not even one year after MINURCA's mandate expires, Kofi Annan highlights the deteriorating situation in CAR, with an impasse between the government and opposition threatening to result in violence or even a coup. (UN Integrated Regional Information)


UN Mission to Stay in Central African Republic on Condition (February 22, 1999)

Security Council may extend MINURCA's mandate to allow for the conduct of presidential elections and other reforms.

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