General information on the Toubou including representatives of the Deirdre (chef du canton Toubou) who resolve litigation between Toubous in different regions of the country; and treatment of the Toubou since the start of the rebellion of Youssouf Togoimi's MDJT in October 1998 [TCD32167.E]

According to Mondes rebelles, the Toubou or Tedas, are black nomads, also known as Goranes, who inhabit the regions of Borkou, Ennedi and Tibesti or BET (1996. 197). According to Refugees International, Toubous can also be found in the remote eastern areas of Niger, near the borders of Niger, Chad and Nigeria (2 Apr. 1999). AFP states that the BET district, situated 700 kilometres north of Nd'jamena, the capital city of Chad, "has been a hotbed of rebellion since independence from France in 1960 and long saw a territorial dispute with Libya" (28 Mar. 1999).

The Toubou, described as "born-guerrillas," are historically a warrior people renowned for their capacity to fight and for their endurance (Buijtenhuijs 1987, 90; AFP28 Mar. 1999). The Toubous have provided the bulk of the fighters of the Front national pour la libération du Tchad (FROLINAT), and its factions: Forces armées tchadiennes (FAT) and the Forces armées du nord (FAN) (ibid.).

Chad: A Country Study states the Deidre or spiritual leader wields, a lot o influence in society (1990, 63).

He is selected by a group of electors according to strict rules. The deidre exercises judicial rather than executive power, arbitrating conflict and levying sanctions based on a code of compensations. Since the beginning of civil conflict in Chad, the deidre has come to occupy a more important position. Up 1965 the Chadian government assumed direct authority over the Tibesti Mountains, sending a military garrison and administrators to Bardaï, the capital of Tibesti Subprefecture (ibid.)

In September 1963 Muslims rioted in Nd'jamena following the arrest of three Muslim leaders. Another incident in the northern town of Baradaï led to the arrest of the whole village. Several of them, including the Deidre, Oueddei Kichidemi, of the Teda people, a Toubou group was subjected to "abuse" (ibid. 19). The deidre went into exile in Libya and,

with the support of toubou students at the Islamic University of Al Bayda, became a symbol of opposition to the Chadian government. This role enhanced the position of the deidre among the Toubou. After 1967 the deidre hoped to rally the Toubou to the National Liberation Front of Chad (Front de libération National du Tchad-FROLINAT). Moral authority became military authority shortly thereafter when his son, Goukouni Oueddei, became one of the leaders of the Second Liberation Army of FROLINAT (ibid., 63).

In 1979, Goukouni Oueddei became the leader of the Government of National Unity of Chad (GUNT) and in April 1982, he became of head of state, a position which he lost to Hissen Habre in 1982 (Mondes rebelles 1996, 211). The GUNT represented 11 of Chad's dissident factions, with most offices "held by Commanders of the significant armed forces-President Goukouny Weddeye of the FAP; Vice-President Wadal Kamougué of the FAT; Defence Minister Hissène Habré of the FAN, and Foreign Minister Ahmet Acyl of the Forces Armés du Centre (FAC sometimes called Volcan Nouveau) (Africa Contemporary Record 1980-1981, B18).

In October 1998, Yousouf Togoimi, a Toubou former defense minister, the head of the armed opposition group, Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDJS) launched a rebellion in BET ( AFP 28 Mar. 1999; RFI 1 Apr. 1999).

In March 1999 the government admitted that the BET or the Tibesti region is had become the scene of anti-government, Toubou led-rebellion by Youssouf Togoimi's MDJS, and government forces (12 Mar. 1999).

However, President Idriss Deby, later reportedly dismissed allegations of a rebellion in Tibesti:

Let me tell you that there is no Toubou rebellion... it is rather Youssouf Togoini and his relatives who are in action, and their number ... has never exceeded 70 persons. Furthermore, they are even less than 70 today...We have brought the situation completely under control, and there is nothing to fear (RFI 5 Apr. 1999).

Reports on the treatment of the Toubou by government since the start of the rebellion could not 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 see below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Africa Contemporary Record. Annual Survey and Documents. 1980-1981. Edited by Colin Legum. New York: Africana Publishing Company.

Agence France Presse (AFP). 28 March 1998.herve Bar. "Chadian Army Claims Full Control of North, Plays Down Rebellion" (NEXIS).

Buijtenhuijs, Robert. 1987. Le Frolinat et les guerres civiles du Tchad 1977-1984). Paris: Editions Karthala.

Chad: A Country Study. 1990. Edited by Thomas Collelo. Washington, DC: Secretary of the Army.
Mondes rebelles: Acteurs, conflits et violences politiques. 1996. Vol. 1996. Edited by

Jean-Marc Balencie and Arnaud de la Grange. Paris: Editions Michalon.

Radio France International (RFI) [Paris in French]. 1 April 1999. "President Deby Says Tibesti Rebellion "completely under dontrol." (BBC Summary /NEXIS 5 Apr. 99).

Refugees International [Washington, DC]. 2 April 1999. "Alleged Massacres of Toubous in Niger." (LEXIS/NEXIS).

_____. 12 March 1999. "Defence Ministry Says 28 Killed in Clashes with Rebels." (BBC Summary/NEXIS 16 Mar.1999).

Political Handbook of the World 1998. 1998. Edited by Arthur S. Banks. Binghamton, NY: CSA Publications.

Electronic sources: IRB Databases, Internet, LEXIS/NEXIS, World News Connection (WNC).

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential [London]. January 1997 - May 1999. Vols. 37-38. Nos. 1-25.

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford]. 1997-1998. Vols. 34-35. Nos. 1-12.

Amnesty International. 1998. Amnesty International Report 1998. New York: Amnesty International USA.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1998. 1999. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Press

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. January 1998-January 1999. Monthly. Vols. 44-45.

Political Handbook of the World 1998. 1998. Edited by Arthur S. Banks. Binghamton, NY: CSA Publications.