Update to TCD31970.E of 26 May 1999 on the conflict between the Koube (Kobe) and the Bedeyata (Bideyat) subclans of the Zaghawa ethnic group [TCD38369.E]

The following comments from the editor of Le Temps, a Chadian independent weekly newspaper, provided during 14 and 15 February 2002 telephone interviews may be of interest. These interviews were conducted in French.

The Chadian political scene is dominated by members of the Zaghawa ethnic group. This group comprises the majority Kobe, also known as Kobera, and the minority Bideyat subclans. Members of those subclans hold several key positions in military, security, political and public service organizations. The Chadian president Idriss Deby is himself from the Bideyat subclan of the Zaghawa people.

Recently, it has appeared that some conflicts have emerged among political spheres of the Zaghawa group. The editor of Le Temps attributed these conflicts to internal power struggles and to the divergent political orientation among Zaghawa politicians.

In these internal struggles of power, it has appeared that the Chadian president (a Bideyat), has favoured members of his subclan to the detriment of those of the Kobe (Kobera) subclan.

The Chadian editor added that, after losing their influence,[translation] "some Kobe (Kobera) members went into exile while others have joined one or another armed group among dozens in the country."

According to Mondes rebelles, members of the Zaghawa ethnic group hold several key positions within the government, the security forces and the public service (2001, 914). Without specifically referring to Kobe or Bideyat members, the same source of information noted that, in order to keep their privileges, some members of the Zaghawa people are fundamentally hostile to any democratic change in the country (ibid.). Some of them who have entered in dissidence have joined armed movements or have created news ones against the current regime (ibid.).

No further information on conflicts between the Kobe and Bideyat subclans of the Zaghawa ethnic group could 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 to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Mondes rebelles : acteurs, conflits et violences politiques. 2001. Jean-Marc Balencie and Arnaud de la Grange. Paris: Éditions Michalon.

Le Temps [N'Djamena]. 14-15 February 2002. Telephone interviews with an editor.

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential 2000 to present.

Africa Research Bulletin 2001.

IRB databases.

Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent 2001-February 2002.


West Africa 2000-2001.

Internet sites including:

The Africa Newswire Network - Chad.


Amnesty International.

BBC News.

Chad Page

Féderation internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme (FIDH).

Human Rights Watch.


Minorities at Risk.

PNUD: Gouvernance et gestion des conflits au Chad.

Search engines including: